What effects does smoking have on your teeth?
Tobacco harms your teeth in a number of ways. Cigarettes impair your mouth’s ability to fight infection, leaving you vulnerable to the bacteria produced by smoking. Plaque and bacteria grow when your mouth is unable to fight back.
Smoking causes a variety of oral health issues, including:
- Increased formation of Tartar
Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop tartar on their teeth, to have deeper pockets between their gums and teeth, and to lose more bone support tissue around their teeth.
- If your dentist does not remove calculus with a professional dental cleaning, it will remain below your gumline. The bacteria in the calculus can then damage your gum tissue, causing gum disease.
- Gum diseases:
Smokers are more likely to develop gum diseases than non-smokers. The risk increases with each cigarette you smoke, and gum disease treatments do not work well for smokers.
Why is this so? Smoking reduces your mouth’s ability to fight bacteria, allowing it to build up on teeth and eventually reach the gums. If left untreated, gums can pull away from teeth, weakening the underlying bone structures. Periodontitis is the most severe form of this, in which the bone and tissue that holds teeth in place deteriorate, causing teeth to fall out or be extracted.
- Tooth discoloration:
One of the most obvious signs of a smoker is yellowed or stained teeth. Tobacco chemicals adhere to the enamel of your teeth, causing them to stain over time. Teeth whitening treatments can help slow this process, but it is impossible to stop or reverse it completely if you continue to smoke.
- Bad Breath:
Cigarette particles remain in the mouth long after a cigarette is completed, causing the breath to take on the characteristics of a cigarette.
In addition, the long-term effects of smoking contribute to bad breath. Bacterial overgrowth in the smoker’s mouth causes bad odour. Unfortunately, no amount of brushing or gargling with mouthwash will remove the odour because it is caused by gum disease, oral sores, and decay. The only real way to change things is to quit smoking completely and work with a dentist to address the underlying issues that smoking causes.
- Delayed Healing:
Smoking not only increases your risk of tooth extraction and oral surgery, but it also slows your body’s ability to recover from these procedures. It also reduces the success rate of dental implant procedures.
- Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer is the most severe form of smoking-related mouth problems. When smoking and heavy drinking are combined, the risk of developing oral cancer increases.
Oral cancer symptoms include a white or red patch in the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness in the jaw, and even ear pain. Anyone experiencing them for more than two weeks should see a doctor. The earlier cancer is discovered, the more effective the treatment.
- Salivary glands are inflamed:
Prolonged smoking can also cause salivary gland inflammation, which causes painful swelling in the face and may necessitate surgery if salivary gland stones are formed.
The Most Effective Option
- A dentist can advise a treatment plan to help reduce the effects of smoking, but the only way to completely eliminate them is to quit smoking. Smoking can affect many parts of your body, including your teeth; quitting will ensure a healthier life for years to come.
How Can I Stop Smoking?
To help you quit smoking, your dentist or doctor may be able to treat your nicotine cravings with medications such as nicotine gum and patches. Some of these products are available over the counter, while others require a prescription. Cigarette cessation classes and support groups are frequently used in conjunction with drug therapy.