Meta Description: Smoking is an unhealthy habit that affects your entire body. Did you know it can also damage your teeth and gums? Here are seven severe effects that smoking has on your dental health.
We all know that smoking is a bad habit that can lead to life-threatening health conditions. Smoking is considered one of the leading preventable causes of death in the world, but did you know it is also bad for your teeth and gums?
Here are seven ways that smoking affects your oral health.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection in the gums caused by harmful mouth bacteria and plaque build-up. Smoking can lead to an increase in plaque and an increase in gum disease.
Smoking decreases the blood flow to the gums and gets in the way of the normal function of gum tissue cells. In severe cases, the inflammation from gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health conditions such as heart disease and respiratory issues.
It is no secret that smoking causes bad breath, also known as halitosis. This is due to several factors including:
*The chemicals in the tobacco – these leave a trace in the mouth after the smoke is inhaled or exhaled.
*Dry Mouth – Another cause of bad breath is a decrease in saliva. Saliva is very effective at fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth that causes infections and bad breath. Tobacco smoke has been found to increase dry mouth and reduce saliva production.
Smoking can lead to an increased risk of cancers in the body, including oral cancer. The amount of smoking is directly related to the increase in risk so, the greater the amount of tobacco smoked, the greater the risk for cancer.
Your dentist here at drpamelali.ca will check for early signs of oral cancer at each of your dental check-ups. Oral cancer is especially aggressive and each year thousands of people die from mouth cancer caused by smoking.
Perhaps a not so serious, but unpleasant side effect of smoking on the mouth is stained and yellowed teeth. This discolouration is due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco reacting to the oxygen in your mouth. Smoking can yellow your teeth very quickly and this can be very challenging to remove.
Weakened Immune System
Smoking can have a damaging effect on your immune system. Many compounds in cigarette smoke harm the cells in your body, including the ones in your mouth. Your immune system has to work hard to fight off this damage and can eventually become weakened. This can lead to infections, disease and even cancer.
Difficulty Healing From Dental Surgery
If your immune system is weakened from the effects of smoking, it can also affect your healing time for injuries or after surgery. If your body cannot heal well there is an increased chance of infection. If you have had dental surgery or dental implants it can take much longer for the implants to heal if you smoke. Be sure to ask advice from Cosmo Dental Centre about your oral health before the procedure.
Another major effect of smoking on your teeth and gums is an increase in tooth loss. The irritants in tobacco lead to increased inflammation in your gums, which can cause gum disease and also affects the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. If these tissues can’t heal properly it can lead to tooth loss.
Smoking affects not only your lungs, heart and skin but also has a severe effect on your teeth and gums. The Canadian Dental Association strongly urges users to quit smoking to improve their overall and oral health. Improve your oral health and your overall quality of life and decide to quit smoking.