Everyone knows that Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can cause seriously addiction and respiratory problems. There is a long list of negative side effects and long-term conditions that regular smoking is responsible for. The nicotine and other components in a cigarette affect negatively – and sometimes irretrievably- almost every part of your body, from your skin to your lungs and starting from where you put it into: your mouth. This can be visible through:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches inside the mouth
- Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss
- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
The nicotine and other components within a cigarette affect negatively –sometimes irretrievably almost every part of your body, from your skin to your lungs and starting from where you put it into: your mouth.
Your smile will fade
Smoking regularly can damage and change your smile by:
- Staining your teeth yellow. Probably the biggest cosmetic change after smoking or chewing tobacco over a long time is the loss of whiteness on your teeth. In healthy teeth, the enamel is translucent but white. A smile full of bright, white teeth is something everyone loves to see. But smoking or chewing can slowly add a sickly yellow color to your teeth. While the teeth whitening treatment at our practice can help, you should be prepared to watch your teeth eventually look yellow and dingy. Smoking will also stain dental bridges, dental implant restorations, and dentures.
- Producing disease. Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is caused by the same harmful bacteria behind tooth decay. When this bacteria lives on your gums, it irritates the gum tissue to create a condition called gingivitis. If left untreated, the bacteria can actually infect your gums, destroy jawbone, and eventually cause your teeth to fall out. People who use cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco are at a much higher risk for getting gum disease. Tobacco irritates gums, which can cause your gums to pull away from teeth and create pockets. Food particles get trapped in those pockets, which is just what bacteria love to eat. Worse, gum disease treatments like root planning and scaling tend to be less effective with smokers.
- Wearing out the enamel by grit and sand inside chewing tobacco and cigars. Tobacco products like cigars and chew often have much more than just tobacco leaves in them. Because tobacco is grown in the soil, products that have tobacco leaves in them can also contain a small amount of sand and similar grit in them. The amount is so small that you’ll probably never notice them. But even though your enamel is very tough, much like glass, it can be scraped and scratched by tiny particles of grit. Over time, this wears down your enamel and increases your sensitivity to heat and cold.
But let´s not forget that the consequences of smoking are not just limited to worsening the purely aesthetics of your smile, it can be the trigger to important oral health problems such as increasing plaque that can lead to decay, teeth falling out or slowing the healing process after oral surgery. Going further, heaving regular smoking habits can lead serious illnesses such as oral cancer and lung cancer.
If you smoke and would like us to make an assessment to see what effects this habit is causing to your teeth and health please book an appointment with your dentist today at 01708 203 146.