Smoking has lots of negative effects on your body, particularly the lungs and heart. But did you know that smoking is also extremely bad for your oral health? In this article, we’ll look at some of the negative effects of smoking on your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.
At the minor end of the scale when it comes to side effects of smoking, smoking is a major cause of bad breath or halitosis. Not just because your breath will smell like smoke, but also because smoking dries out your mouth, reducing the amount of saliva that’s there to wash away bacteria. This leads to an increase in bacteria and plaque that contribute to bad breath.
And a purely cosmetic side effect is that the tar in cigarettes can cause your teeth to become stained a yellowish color. The increase in plaque and tartar also contributes to your teeth changing color.
The increase in dental plaque as a result of smoking also contributes to the risk of gum disease. Plus, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, affecting the amount of oxygen that’s delivered to your gums. This makes infections more likely and makes it more difficult for your gums to heal or recover from an infection or after treatment. Overall, your risks of developing gum disease are much higher than non-smokers.
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, so your increased risk of gum disease also means you are more likely to suffer from tooth loss. Plus, the increase in plaque and tartar contribute to tooth decay, which can also lead to tooth loss. And when it comes to replacing lost teeth, smoking makes it more likely that any dental implant procedures will fail.
The chemicals in cigarettes are extremely carcinogenic. As well as the risk of lung cancer, you are also at risk of developing oral cancer as smoking can cause the cells in your mouth to mutate. The mouth, throat, and even the lips can be affected. And more than 60% of oral cancer diagnoses are linked to smoking or tobacco use.
If you’re a smoker who’s trying to quit, there are lots of resources that can help you through this. No matter how long you’ve smoked for and how frequently you smoke, quitting now can dramatically reduce your risks of developing serious conditions related to smoking.
If you have any oral symptoms that may be related to smoking, book an appointment with Advance Family Dentists to have your symptoms checked out and treated in Advance, NC.