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The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Posted by James Pacheco in Uncategorized

The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Your first concern when lighting up a cigarette might be how you’re destroying your lungs, but did you know that smoking affects your teeth and oral health too?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 billion people across the globe smoke. That is one-third of the world’s population. And out of those, 4 million die annually as a result of smoking.

This turns smoking into the leading cause of preventable death.

Most Infamous for causing lung cancer and lowering the quality of life, smoking is also a major risk factor for oral problems. From affecting the appearance of your teeth to their health, here are some of the harmful effects of smoking on your oral health.

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is the most immediate and visible side effect of smoking. The nicotine and tar in tobacco seeps into the small cracks of your teeth and mixed with oxygen, changes color. Depending on how often and how much you smoke, this can create stains ranging from yellow to brown and even black! Brushing the stains away won’t be so easy, because they have settled deep into your enamel over the years. So you will have to turn to whitening procedures and special toothpastes. 

Bad Breath

The smoker’s breath that won’t go away so easily by mouthwash or mint is caused when the chemicals in cigarettes stick to your teeth and the soft tissues of your mouth. The tobacco will reduce your saliva production which is crucial for cleansing your mouth. With a dry mouth, the bacteria will have a better chance to thrive and cause bad breath and more serious problems.

Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

When you smoke, bacteria increase in your mouth and layers of plaque start to build up, leading to a gum disease called gingivitis. If you don’t treat this properly, it will progress to periodontitis. Your gums and bones start to pull away from your teeth, forming spaces that will get infected. Since the nicotine in cigarette reduces blood flow to your mouth, your immune system will not be at its full potential to fight off the infection and it will only get worse from here.

The bones and tissues in your mouth break down and there will be nothing for your teeth to hold on to. Then your teeth become loose and start to fall out or need to be extracted. This is why gum disease is one of the common reasons for tooth loss. Another downfall to this is that your mouth won’t have a strong structure to keep dental implants.

Signs of gum disease to look out for include red and swollen gums, loose teeth, painful chewing, and excessive bleeding during brushing.

Oral Cancer

Smoking is one of the main causes of oral cancer and a study has found that out of ten oral cancer patients, eight were smokers. Specifically, smoking increases the risk of the disease ten times in men and five times in women compared to non-smokers.

Tobacco has more than 60 carcinogenic chemicals. These chemicals can change your cell’s DNA and disrupt its normal growth and cause cancer. With a weakened immune system from smoking, your body is going to be in trouble trying to fight the cancer. Combine tobacco with alcohol and you’re 15 times more likely at risk of getting oral cancer.

Keep an eye out for any lumps, ulcers, and discolored patches in your mouth that don’t heal within three weeks and check in with a dentist. The sooner you identify the disease, the higher your chances of recovery.

Final Word

These are just some of the prominent effects of smoking on your oral health. Add a loss of taste and smell, more tooth decay, and slower healing of dental procedures to the collection above, and you’ll have a very good motive to quit smoking.

Even if you’ve been smoking for a long time, studies show that quitting can still improve your oral health significantly.

But if you’re not ready to quit, reducing the amount you smoke can help too.

Until you’re ready, keep up your dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, and visit a dentist regularly to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Here at Azure Dental, our dedicated team of professionals is ready to help you keep that healthy smile and give you the best dental care you can ask for. So contact us today and set up your appointment.

*If you want more resources for quitting, you can check out CDC’s guide here.

Your first concern when lighting up a cigarette might be how you’re destroying your lungs, but did you know that smoking affects your teeth and oral health too?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 billion people across the globe smoke. That is one-third of the world’s population. And out of those, 4 million die annually as a result of smoking.

This turns smoking into the leading cause of preventable death.

Most Infamous for causing lung cancer and lowering the quality of life, smoking is also a major risk factor for oral problems. From affecting the appearance of your teeth to their health, here are some of the harmful effects of smoking on your oral health.

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is the most immediate and visible side effect of smoking. The nicotine and tar in tobacco seeps into the small cracks of your teeth and mixed with oxygen, changes color. Depending on how often and how much you smoke, this can create stains ranging from yellow to brown and even black! Brushing the stains away won’t be so easy, because they have settled deep into your enamel over the years. So you will have to turn to whitening procedures and special toothpastes. 

23 Sep 2020 no comments

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