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The Many Ways Smoking Is Bad for Your Oral Health
Posted By: Dr. Jeffrey Pass

The Many Ways Smoking Is Bad for Your Oral Health

 

Everyone knows smoking is bad for them, and most people know some bad things that smoking can do to their teeth and mouth. However, there’s a good chance that you probably don’t know all of the ways that smoking can harm your oral health.

 

Below, we’re going to cover all of them in one place. Think of it as a crash course in why your teeth want you to quit smoking.

 

7 Ways Smoking Hurts Your Oral Health

 

These are the top ways your oral health is impacted by smoking.

 

Bad Breath

The nicotine in cigarettes stays in your mouth and produces bad breath. It’s difficult to cover up smokers’ breath even with mouthwash or gum, since the nicotine is so potent.

 

Stained Teeth

Nicotine and tar stain your teeth, giving them a yellowed appearance that can make you look older than you really are.

 

Dulled Sense of Smell and Taste

Smoking takes a toll on your tongue and breathing passages as well, which can limit your ability to taste and smell.

 

Gum Disease

Smoking causes inflammation in your body, including your gums. Inflamed gums can lead to many problems in your mouth, including tooth decay and gum and tooth loss. Additionally, smokers are more likely to develop plaque, which can lead to periodontal disease.

 

Visit your dentist as soon as you see signs of gum disease. These signs include swollen or bleeding gums, gums pulling away from teeth, sensitivity, loose teeth, or painful chewing.

 

Difficulty with Cosmetic Dentistry

As if it wasn’t enough that smoking harmed your smile – cosmetic dentistry can be anywhere from challenging to impossible for smokers due to the decay and loss linked to smoking.

 

For example, if you need bridgework, you must have healthy teeth on either side of the gap. If all your teeth are suffering from tobacco use, your dentist will be hard-pressed to find a workable solution.

 

Reduced Immune System Function

Smoking lowers oxygen levels in the blood, which slows healing. The longer you smoke, the more your immune system is negatively affected.

 

Why does this matter in terms of oral health? Because if you need oral surgery or other medical treatments, you may have a longer healing time due to reduced capability of your immune system.

 

Oral Cancer

Whether you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, you are at a greater risk for developing oral cancer. Since your head and neck are full of lymph nodes and blood vessels, cancer of the mouth can be especially aggressive.

 

How a Dentist Can Help You Quit Smoking

 

Most adults consider a healthy smile to be essential to good appearance. When people meet you for the first time, your smile makes a big impression. Unfortunately, smokers often struggle with confidence about their smiles.

 

Twice-daily brushings help, but they can’t remove stains or bad breath caused by smoking. You’ll need to seek dental cleanings more frequently as a smoker.

 

That’s not the only way your dentist can help, though. Dentists are equipped to help smokers quit.

 

Hollywood FL Dentists

 

They can suggest special toothpastes to clean your teeth, and prescribe medication to help you break the addiction. They can review your medical history and track changes. Provide education on the effects of smoking. Set and stick to a quit date. Offer suggestions for how to distract yourself in healthy ways when the urge to smoke rises. Adjust your medication levels as your habits change.

 

By scheduling regular checkups, you’ll stay on track as you work to break addictive cycles. When you finally do kick smoking, your teeth will be whiter, your breath will be fresher, and your mouth will be healthier.

 

Stop waiting – schedule a dental appointment today.