Most people are aware that smoking causes numerous health problems, but many don’t realize the risks it poses to the mouth, teeth, and gums. Here’s all you need to know about smoking and its devastating effects on your oral health.
Smoking and Its Impacts on Your Oral Health
Here are some ways smoking can affect your oral health:
Periodontal (Gum Disease): Did you know that periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? Smoking increases the risk of accumulating bacterial plaque, leading to gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to a serious condition known as periodontitis, which can potentially destroy the bone and tissues holding the teeth in place, leading to loose teeth and tooth loss.
Receding Gums: One of the complications of gum disease is receding gums, which exposes the margins of the crowns. That interferes with proper oral hygiene and can result in cosmetic concerns, including longer-looking teeth.
Tooth Decay and Cavities: Smoking increases plaque and tartar buildup and causes dry mouth, two leading causes of tooth decay. Moreover, gum recession that often accompanies periodontitis can leave the tooth roots susceptible to decay.
Oral Cancer: Smoking is notorious for causing lung cancer, but many remain unaware that it elevates the risk of mouth cancer. Unfortunately, thousands of people die every year from oral cancer resulting from smoking.
Tooth Discoloration: Tooth staining and discoloration are largely attributed to the nicotine and tar found in cigarettes. Dull, yellow teeth are tell-tale signs of smoking, with long-time smokers often having almost brown teeth.
Bad Breath (Halitosis): Not only does smoking leave behind a very unpleasant mouth odor, but it also causes dry mouth and periodontal disease, two leading causes of bad breath.
Weakened Immune System: Smoking can result in a compromised immune system, leading to weakened defenses against oral infections and slower healing after dental procedures.
Combatting the Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health
While quitting smoking is the best way to go, there are some things smokers can do to lower the risk of developing dental problems. Make sure you maintain meticulous oral hygiene practices, including thorough tooth brushing and flossing. Don’t forget to visit Hebron Family Dentistry for your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings so that we can identify and treat any conditions as they develop. If you have any concerns at any time, contact us for an appointment right away.
Quality Dental Care Near Me
Visit Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about the impacts of smoking on your oral health. Dr. Watson and her team are proud to offer exceptional preventive and restorative services for long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!