Most of us know that smoking is harmful for your health. However, it’s not a habit that just impacts your heart and lungs. In fact, cigarettes and other nicotine and tobacco products can cause some detrimental concerns within your mouth. Whether your oral habit involves cigarettes, cigars, pipes or vaping, you should know the danger your habit poses on your oral health.
The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health
The consequences of smoking on your smile can range from issues that involve the appearance of your teeth to those that may cause irreversible damage to your gums. Depending on how much you smoke and how long you’ve been doing it, you are setting yourself up to suffer from the following expansive list of potential dental health disruptions:
- Persistent bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Hardened Plaque (tartar) build-up
- Aggressive gum disease
- Jaw bone loss
- Shifting teeth
- Missing teeth
- Oral cancers
- Mouth sores
- Root decay
- Hairy tongue
- Smoker’s lip (like a burn)
- Altered sense of taste and smell
- Delayed wound healing
The Risk for Gum Disease
When it comes to smoking and dental health, the two most prominent risks are gum disease and oral cancer. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means blood flow to your mouth and gums can be greatly restricted if you are a smoker. Unfortunately, this leaves the gum tissues more vulnerable to infection and can even keep you from getting dental implants or undergoing oral surgery due to the risk of complicated healing and recovery.
Did you know that current smokers are nearly four times more likely to have periodontitis than people who had never smoked? If the gums are more susceptible to bacteria and infection like they are in those who smoke, gum disease can develop more easily. This is a progressive and serious oral health condition that can cause the teeth to lose stability or even fall out. Even worse, gum disease is harder to detect in those who smoke due to the limited blood flow to gum tissues that would otherwise swell, become red or bleed easily when diseased.
Ready to Quit?
If you are ready to kick your smoking habit and save your smile, we are here to help. At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we can educate patients on the dental dangers of smoking as well as treat the concerns that smoking may have already caused. Call our Marietta office today to learn more.