Everyone knows that smoking tobacco negatively affects the overall health of our bodies. The addictive use of these chemicals harms tissues, bones, and can increase the risk of cancers. Just like smoking effects general health, it can affect oral health too.
Effects On Teeth
Tobacco use can cause several problems to the teeth, including:
- Stains: The nicotine and tar found in tobacco can stain teeth yellow, and eventually brown.
- Plaque Buildup: Smokers increase the growth of plaque and tartar on their teeth with the use of tobacco.
- Dental Restoration Problems: correcting cosmetic dental issues (with the use of dental restorations such as implants) can have a lower success rate for smokers.
Effects On Gums
Smoking affects how gum cell tissues function and impedes the blood flow to gums. This creates issues such as:
- Gum Disease: The gums become more susceptible to the infections that cause periodontal disease when you smoke.
- Slower Wound Healing: Blood flow to gums not only becomes impaired through smoking, but also lacks in oxygen. This makes it more difficult for your mouth to heal after tooth extractions, surgery, periodontal treatment, etc.
Tobacco use has an overall negative effect on your mouth, causing problems like:
- Bad breath
- Dulled sense of smell and taste
- Inflammation of salivary glands on the roof of the mouth
- Loss of jawbone
- Cause of leukoplakia (white patches on the inside of the mouth)
- Increased risk of oral cancer
The way to prevent several of these problems is simple: stop smoking. Whether you attend a support group, replace smoking with a healthy habit, or call a help line, when you stop smoking, you oral and overall health improves.