Smoking and using tobacco products can have many adverse effects on your health. It can not only cause issues with the lungs, but also contribute to problems inside the mouth. Smoking can lead to stained teeth, bad breath, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease than those who do not smoke. Quitting the smoking habit can reduce the chances of developing dental problems by up to 50 percent.
The chemicals present in tobacco products affect the flow of saliva in the mouth. This makes it easy for bacteria to stick to the gums and teeth. The filmy plaque can develop on the gum line and the teeth. If one does not remove the plaque every day, it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar. This is a substance that is hard and requires a professional dental cleaning to remove it. Smokers have a high likelihood of developing periodontal or gum disease. This can cause gum swelling and bleeding, bone loss, and tooth movement, eventually resulting in tooth loss if left untreated.
Smoking affects the natural function of the gum tissue. It can also cause infection by restricting the blood flow to certain areas, resulting in poor or delayed healing. This is why smoking is NOT recommended after tooth removal or extraction, or in patients requiring deep cleanings or dental implants. The recovery process becomes longer and more difficult and can even lead to treatment failure, resulting in treatment needing to be repeated. Smokers will notice that their gums tend to bleed easily when they brush or floss. Smokeless tobacco products can also irritate the gum tissue. It makes it easy for bacteria to stick to the tooth right at the gumline and develop decay.
Smoking can lead to oral cancer. The harmful chemicals found in tobacco products can lead to mutations in the cells of the mouth and throat. According to research, almost 90 percent of patients diagnosed with oral cancers used tobacco. Oral cancers includes the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat. It can be very serious and is challenging to treat. People who use tobacco products are more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don’t smoke. Unfortunately, oral cancer can be debilitating as it can affect the way you speak, as well as the way you eat.
Smoking can change the appearance of the teeth. The smoke turns the teeth yellow, something that cannot be cleaned through regular brushing. Daily hygiene habits are greatly compromised by smoking. Getting the teeth professionally cleaned can change the appearance temporarily but if the smoking continues, the results will be short-lived.
Apart from staining the teeth and discoloring the tongue, smoking causes halitosis. Regardless of what many smokers believe, smoking and bad breath go hand-in-hand. Smoking can also interfere with the individual’s sense of taste and smell.
Smoking causes other oral issues, including gum recession, mouth sores and ulcers, and a weakened immune system. If you are a smoker, we recommend smoking cessation to not only improve your overall health, but your oral health as well.
To learn more about the impact cigarette smoking might have caused to your teeth, visit Hamlin Modern Dentistry at our office in Winter Garden, Florida. You can call (407) 993-6370 today to schedule an appointment.