Most people know the multiple negative effects of smoking on their health: A smoking habit ages both your face and body, making you seem older than you are. But it can particularly affect your teeth, as well.
One obvious way smoking affects your teeth is by causing unattractive tobacco stains. It also impacts your dental health in ways that are more than just cosmetic. In this post, the providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain more.
If you’ve considered teeth whitening, you’re not alone. Many people, regardless of whether or not they smoke, opt for teeth whitening.
But if you smoke, your teeth will be far more stained than if you don’t. If you’ve ever looked at your fingertips after you smoke, you may see that they’re stained a dark yellow or light brown. The same staining affects your teeth, too. While you can technically get your teeth whitened to cover up the effects of smoking, the results won’t last nearly as long.
Weakened immune system
If you seem to catch every cold that’s going around, it could be due to a smoking habit. Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off the bugs that go around.
This lowered immune system affects your oral health, making you more likely to experience oral diseases. It also makes your body take longer to recover from standard dental procedures.
Damage to teeth and gums
When you smoke, bacteria builds up faster in your mouth. This puts you at a significantly increased risk of having more cavities and bone loss. Smoking also increases your risk of losing your teeth entirely.
Unhealthy gums could also make you a bad candidate for options like dental implants, leaving you with dentures as your only replacement option for missing teeth.
Mouth sores and ulcers
Smoking damages your circulation. This makes you much more likely to develop mouth sores and ulcers. These are usually not cancerous but they can be painful.
Gum and periodontal disease
Gum disease — also known as periodontal disease — is a real risk for all of us as we age. It’s essential to take excellent care of your teeth and gums to try to prevent developing periodontal disease.
However, smokers have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, with some even developing it at a much-younger-than-average age.
Increased risk of cancer
The harmful chemicals found in tobacco damage your health and significantly increase your risk of developing many forms of cancer, including oral cancer.
If you smoke, we strongly advise you to quit. Smoking puts your oral health at significant risk, making quitting worth the effort. If you need help with quitting, ask us. Contact our providers at Dental Art of South Bay today or request an appointment online.