How Does Smoking Affect Oral Health

It has been reported that over 34 million American adults have developed the habit of smoking. 

Though many people are educated on how smoking impacts your lungs, have you thought about how it can affect your oral health? This article will outline the risks you should know and why you should consider quitting. 

Oral Health Problems

Smoking cigarettes and cigars, vaping, and using smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco all introduce harmful chemicals into our bodies. These chemicals negatively impact your dental hygiene. 

Here are 7 problems smokers have a higher risk of.  

1. Bad breath 

The smell of smoke can stay in your mouth and dry it out. Most smokers have halitosis(chronic bad breath) because of the drying effect smoking has on your mouth. 

2. Stained teeth

Smoking affects the color of your teeth, giving a yellowish tint. The nicotine and tar are absorbed into your enamel, and over the years it can even turn your teeth brown!

3. Dental problems /Tooth loss 

Smoking can put you at high risk of gum disease, decay, and infections resulting in lost teeth

4. Dental plaque

Smoking encourages bacteria to stick to teeth; causing a buildup of tartar and plaque.

5. Dry mouth

Long-term smoking can lead to dehydration of the oral cavity and lower saliva flow, resulting in a condition called dry mouth. This can lead to other complications like tooth decay as well.

6. Gum Disease

A more serious health problem smoking can cause is gum disease. This can begin with gum problems, like bleeding around the gum line and swelling of the gums and soft tissue. 

If not treated, it can progress into periodontal disease. 

This will cause the gums to recede. You may also experience bone loss and tooth loss. In some cases, it can also affect the bone structure around your mouth causing it to look “sunken in”.

7. Oral Cancer

Tobacco use presents a greater risk of developing oral cancer. The cancer center reports about 80 percent of patients with oral cancer use tobacco. The bad news is, mouth cancers tend to spread quickly. 

The beginning stages of oral cancer may present lip or mouth sores that do not heal. You’ll need frequent dental checks so your mouth can be screened for cancer. Seeing the dentist regularly and having professional cleanings will help your dental and oral health. 

Can You Quit? 

With all the risks outlined, quitting smoking is something you should really be interested in. Kicking the smoking habit will improve oral health and lower your risk for many of the problems mentioned in this article.

Your doctor can provide medical advice to help you quit smoking. Nicotine gum is an aid some use to assist them to stop smoking. 

How We Can Help!

If you have been a smoker for a long time and have experienced tooth loss, our experienced dental surgeon in Stanislaus Oral Surgery in Modesto, CA, Dr. Sandhu, is well equipped with different treatments to replace missing or decayed teeth. 

One of the popular treatments we offer is dental implants, which have a normal look and function just like natural teeth. If you are interested in more information about this treatment, book an appointment here today.

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