Your mouth is an interesting spot from which to explore the effects of smoking. Destroying your appearance with black stained teeth and making your breath smell foul are just the superficial aspects of what smoking does to your oral health.
Smoking can also lead to gum disease. People who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums don’t heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and causes gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Smoking leads to dental problems, including:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings
- Increased build up debris on the teeth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of white patches inside the mouth
- Increased risk 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
How Does Smoking Lead to Gum Disease?
Smoking and other tobacco products can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums – which may affect wound healing.
Problems created by cigar and pipe cigars
Yes, like cigarettes, pipes and cigars do lead to oral health problems. Pipe and cigar smokers are still at risk for oral and throat cancers — even if they don’t inhale — and other oral consequences — bad breath, stained teeth, and increased risk of gum disease.
About Smokeless Tobacco Products
Like cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products contain chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and oesophagus. In fact, chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it harder to quit than cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to recede or pull away from your teeth.
In addition, sugars, which are often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, can increase your risk for tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down your teeth.
QUIT THE HABIT!!
Regardless of how long you have used tobacco products, quitting now can greatly reduce serious risks to your health. Eleven years after quitting, former smokers’ likelihood of having periodontal (gum) disease was not significantly different from people who never smoked. Even reducing the amount you smoke appears to help!!!!
How Can I Quit Tobacco?
- To stop using tobacco, your dentist or doctor may be able to help you calm nicotine cravings with medications, such as nicotine gum and patches.
- Smoking cessation classes and support groups are often used. Ask your doctor or dentist for information on similar programs they may be familiar with.
Quit smoking and love life!!!