The consequences of smoking on your teeth
Much has been documented about the damaging effects of smoking on your overall health, so much so, people are more aware today of the detriments of smoking than ever before. That said, the unexpected increase in new smokers and the sale of tobacco related products is shocking. There is enough information out there on the effects of smoking on your heart and respiratory system, but the literature and general public knowledge of how it damages your teeth are probably less well recognised.
The immune system is affected by heavy smoking, weakening the body’s capabilities of fighting off infection. This in turn impinges upon the health of teeth and gums. You are likely to suffer tooth loss if you smoke. This can be a gradual process or it can be sudden. Cigarettes initiate the development of gum disease, and in fact accelerate it. Gum diseases swell on the gum areas and lessen the strength of individual tooth formation.
Studies have proved that smoking triggers an accumulation of damaging bacteria in plaque build-ups. Bacteria already thrive in the gums affecting the jaw. Smoking speeds up plaque accretion and in this sense becomes a “silent killer.” You don’t necessarily see the damage it is doing, but it’s there.
Of course, the number one worry for a smoker regarding their mouth is oral cancer. This is a disease that can grow rapidly and be fatal if not treated in the early stages. Cigarettes and cigars contain several toxins associated with cancer. Even if you don’t inhale, it does not decrease the risks.
If you have had a dental procedure, your dentist might even tell you, smoking can seriously slow down the healing process.
The most common problems experienced on a day-to-day basis for the average smoker are more aesthetically based. The first is the yellowing of teeth. The tartar stains your teeth and cannot be removed with simple brushings. The second common problem is that smoking causes bad breath. There is a reason Dentists wear masks that cover their noses when they look in your mouth!
Beyond the obvious option of quitting smoking, there are ways to combat against these issues. Visit the dentist for check-ups and treatments. There you will be supplied with the right medications to cure gum infections, or perhaps even get your teeth cleaned.
Practice correct dental hygiene. This is even more critical if you smoke a lot. You have to weigh up the benefits against the detriments. The damage and loss of teeth can cause huge confidence issues in the way you look and appear. It will affect what you can and cannot eat too. The harm smoking causes to teeth is such a persistent issue that any dentist will recommend you to quit.
If you are a smoker and you are concerned with your teeth or your gums, contact us at Advanced Dentistry for a consultation.