This is nothing new, and you’ve undoubtedly heard it from your doctor and perhaps even from concerned family and friends - smoking is bad for your health. In particular, smoking is harmful to your lungs.
In this article, though, Dental House MI will focus on how smoking is detrimental to your oral health. After all, smoking starts when you puff that smoke through your mouth, so it should not come as a surprise that it can damage your teeth and gums. But how exactly? Read on and find out:
What Smoking Does to Your Teeth
As with food, your mouth is the first entry point of cigarette smoke. From the moment you light up a stick of cigarette and inhale that smoke, you’re already putting your oral health at risk. You might think that you’re not damaging your teeth because you exhale the smoke, but it can have significant effects.
Smoking Causes Discoloration
If you smoke a lot, you are quickly saying goodbye to your pearly whites. Soon enough, you’ll notice that your teeth are stained. Think of your teeth as a porcelain vase and that its surface has tiny cracks. As the years pass, those cracks absorb anything you put in your mouth. That means when you smoke, the tar and nicotine will seep into those cracks and stay there. These cannot be brushed away. It’s also more likely to get a plaque and tartar buildup when you smoke.
It Increases the Risk of Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Gum disease is among the leading reasons for adult tooth loss. What contributes to gum diseases? Smoking. The disease even progresses much faster if you’re a chronic smoker. That’s why so many smokers lose their teeth. What happens is that plaque starts building up when you smoke, and bacteria in your mouth increases. The gums get inflamed, and you start seeing blood when you brush. That’s gingivitis. Unless you stop smoking and get it treated, it will progress to periodontitis, and the inner layer of the gum and bone will start separating from the teeth and pockets. Bacteria grow in those pockets and trigger an infection. All these can lead to eventual tooth loss.
But that’s not the only problem. Upon losing teeth, they might also find that dental implant procedures are less successful with smokers, that is, if they’re even considered eligible for the procedure. Remember that implants require a healthy jawbone which smokers are unlikely to have. When you’re losing your teeth due to eroding bone and gum tissue, you don’t have an anchor stable enough to hold dental implants.
What Can You Do?
The short answer to this is this: Stop smoking! But it’s not that simple. You know it’s not that easy, and it’s certainly harder to quit cold turkey. There are things that you can do that can help, from starting to cut down the number of cigarettes per day to using nicotine patches or gums and more. You should also visit your dentist, who will help you find effective ways to correct the problems your past smoking caused.
Smoking can indeed affect your oral health - cause staining and plaque buildup, cause gum disease, and more. If you want to keep your teeth healthy or at least save them from deterioration, you need to stop smoking. If you have been smoking for a while now and want to get your teeth and gums checked, you should go to a trusted Waterford dentist who can assess and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
If you are looking for an experienced local dentist in Waterford, Dental House MI is what you’re looking for. Set up an appointment with a trusted dentist today!