What Smoking Does to Your Teeth
Smoking can have harmful effects on nearly every single part of the body, causing a number of health ailments and even death in some cases. It can cause: cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, COPD, tuberculosis, eye issues, immune issues, and more — like gum disease.
As you can tell, smoking can cause a wide array of overall health issues, including harmful oral conditions. If you smoke, you are putting your smile at risk for staining, decay, and more. This is a full list of what smoking does to your teeth — and why you should end the bad habit before it’s too late.
Smoking and Your Smile
Smoking is bad for your overall health, but it also can cause an excessive amount of damage to your smile. Common dental health issues caused by smoking can include:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- 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
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can affect the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. If your gum disease is severe enough, you can lose your teeth. Gum disease is serious, but it can be prevented. Common signs of gum disease include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red or purplish gums
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pink-tinged toothbrush after rushing
- Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Painful chewing
- New spaces developing between the teeth
- Receding gums
- A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite
These are not little issues when it comes to your dental health. Not only can these things affect your smile now, but they can also affect your smile for years to come. Prevent costly dental work and extensive treatments by putting an end to smoking today — for the sake of your smile!
Smoking and Gum Disease
The CDC explains that gum disease and smoking can be related. Smoking can weaken your body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off infection within the body — including the mouth. Once you have gum issues, smoking can also make it harder for your gums to heal. If you are a smoker, they explain that could mean:
- You have twice the risk for gum disease compared to a nonsmoker.
- The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater risk for gum disease.
- Greater risk for gum disease depending on how long you have been a smoker.
- Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is preventable as long as you are taking proper care of your smile. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to ensure you have a healthy smile. If you’re not sure what an all-encompassing dental health routine looks like, Dr. Ania and our team can help walk you through it at your next appointment. A few brief tips to follow include:
- Brush your teeth after meals to remove food, debris, and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums.
- Floss at least once a day to remove food and plaque from between the teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Use a mouthwash to help reduce plaque and remove remaining food particles that might have been missed when brushing and flossing.
- Know your risk. Your age, diet, genetics, and being a smoker can all increase your risk of developing gum disease.
- See your dentist at least once every six months. This can help you catch any dental issues that are beginning, and prevent more intensive dental issues from developing.
Call Dr. Ania
One of the best fights against gum disease is getting help early on — and quitting smoking. Dr. Ania is trained to notice the early signs of gum disease and will thoroughly look over your teeth and gums to determine the best course of action for your time. With the right dental care, your dentist can help stop your gum disease from progressing. However, you have to help yourself first by putting a stop to smoking. For dental health help, make an appointment today by calling us at (303)-872-9940.