How Does Smoking Affect Your Dental Health?Hector Rosario
There has been so much awareness on the effects of smoking on one health. Smoking is closely linked to cardiopulmonary problems among other medical problems that can be fatal in some cases. However, the consequences of smoking on dental health has been overlooked. Due to this smoking has taken a toll on dental health costing individuals their smiles and health in the end.
How does smoking affect your teeth? Tobacco can affect your teeth in many ways. It can limit your mouth’s ability to fight an infection leaving your teeth and gums defenseless against bacteria. Plaque and bacteria fester because your mouth cannot fight back.
Below are effects of smoking on a smokers teeth.
- Tooth discoloration
Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar from tobacco. These chemicals cling on to the enamel of the teeth causing them to stain over time. To avoid staining a smoker has to brush their teeth very often. Most smokers use teeth whitening treatments that can slow down the process but if they continue smoking it would be impossible to reverse the browning of the teeth.
- Bad breath
Particles from the cigarette remain in the smoker’s mouth long after they smoked. These remnants of the cigarette can give ones breath some characteristics of a cigarette. Other than that the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth can lead to bad breath. The bacteria can cause gum disease, oral sores and decay that one cannot get rid of by brushing or using mouthwash.
- Gum disease
Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease. It refers to an infection of the gums that affect the bone structure that supports the teeth. If the disease becomes severe it can lead to falling off of teeth. Also gum disease can also cause your gums to pull away from your teeth forming spaces that can get infected. Smoking is the leading cause of gum disease.
- Dry mouth
Dry mouth usually makes it difficult to eat or talk and it can take a toll on one’s oral health. Excessive dry mouth can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay because saliva usually helps fight bacteria. Smoking usually slows down the rate at which the mouth produces saliva causing dry mouth.
- Oral cancer
The risk of getting oral cancer is 5 to 10 times greater among smokers compared to non-smokers. Tobacco smoke usually contains chemicals that promote cancer. These chemicals can change the genetics in cells that lead to development of oral cancer.
If you are a smoker and you want to enjoy the benefits of quitting smoking, you can visit a dentist to help you improve your oral health.