How Smoking Affects Teeth
Most of us know that smoking increases your risk for cancer and can negatively affect your health. However, the effects of smoking on your teeth are often overlooked. Smoking discolors your teeth, increases your risk for gum disease, causes bad breath, and can also cause oral cancer. Today, we want to discuss each of these harmful effects of smoking, as well as ways that you can manage and treat them.
After years of smoking, the nicotine in cigarettes can stain your teeth yellow or even black in extreme cases. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we offer in-office whitening treatment that can help restore the natural beauty of your teeth. However, keep in mind that continued smoking can make it difficult or impossible to treat discoloration.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, and smokers are almost twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-smokers. Smoking weakens your mouth’s natural ability to fight off bacteria. When bacteria grows and builds up on your teeth, it can eventually travel to the gums. This causes them to pull away from your teeth and underlying bone structure. Left untreated, teeth can fall out or need to be extracted.
It’s no secret that the smell of smoke permeates almost everything it touches, and the same goes for your mouth. Cigarette particles may remain in your mouth long after you finish smoking, and there they fester among bacteria, causing bad breath. Often, the only way to permanently treat this bad breath is to quit smoking.
Smoking and the use of tobacco products can lead to mouth or throat cancer. If you’re a smoker and/or a heavy drinker, this increases your risk of developing oral cancer even more. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be.
If you’re a smoker, Dr. Desai will work closely with you to provide a personalized plan to help mitigate and treat the effects of smoking on your teeth. If you’re looking for help quitting, we can also provide helpful resource materials. No matter who you are, be sure you’re practicing healthy oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily, flossing, and getting regular cleanings and exams at our office. To schedule your next appointment, give us a call or submit our online contact form.