It’s no secret that smoking is bad for us. Most people are aware that smoking is bad for their health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in many cases, fatal diseases.
It’s also no secret that smoking is very detrimental to your oral health in particular. You’ve probably seen the warnings on cigarette packages with graphic images of the impact smoking can have on your teeth, tongue and gums.
But did you know that half of gum disease in smokers is actually caused by smoking? Chronic gum disease can lead to the total loss of your teeth – all because of smoking.
When you smoke, it increases your likelihood of producing bacterial plaque, which can lead to gum disease. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and causes gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Not only does smoking increase the chance that you will develop gum disease, it makes treatment much more difficult. And the treatment is less likely to succeed because smoking hinders healing in your mouth. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
In addition to this, smoking can lead to tooth staining, bad breath, tooth loss, and in more even mouth cancer.
One of the negative effects of smoking is staining on the teeth. This is a side effect of the nicotine and tar in the cigarettes. Smoking can make your teeth turn yellow in a very short amount of time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth turn brown after years of smoking.
Most people know that smoking can be a leading cause of lung and throat cancer, but many people still don’t know that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking alone.
This goes without saying, but stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. If you’re trying to quit, and want to protect your teeth in the interim, there is special toothpaste for people who smoke that are more abrasive than ordinary toothpaste. ‘Whitening’ toothpaste is also available if you want to improve the appearance of your teeth.
People who smoke are more likely to have stained teeth, and therefore may need appointments more often with the dental hygienist. It is important that you visit your dental team regularly for a normal check-up and a full mouth examination so that any other conditions can be spotted early.