If you are a smoker, smoking cessation is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your oral health. We all know about the other dangers of smoking, but mentioned less often is the damage smoking can do to your teeth and gums. If you aren’t sure how to get started with quitting smoking, consult with our dentist or your doctor.
How Smoking Affects Your Dental Health
Smoking leads to a variety of dental problems, from tooth staining to tooth loss. It also greatly increases your risk of oral cancer, which is difficult to treat and can be deadly. If you have oral surgery, you will heal more slowly, and you are more likely to develop gum disease and tooth decay. Other problems associated with smoking include:
- Loss of bone mass in the jawbones
- Increased buildup of plaque and tartar
- Risk of leukoplakia, white patches caused by irritation of the mucus membranes
- Inflammation in the salivary glands
Smokers are more likely to lose teeth because they are more likely to develop severe gum disease and tooth decay that cause tooth loss in the long term. At the same time, smokers are also not good candidates for dental implants because smoking reduces the ability to heal after surgical procedures. Therefore, if you lose your teeth and are a smoker, your options for tooth replacement are limited.
Why Does Smoking Cause Dental Problems?
One major side effect of smoking is that it reduces effective blood flow. This is a major factor in the reduced healing speed experienced by smokers. It also affects the way bone and gum tissue attach to the teeth. This contributes to a higher risk for gum disease and infection in the mouth.
These dangers are not limited to cigarette smoking. If you smoke a pipe or cigars, and even if you use chewing tobacco, your dental health is still at risk. To ensure your future dental health, talk to our dentist about how you can stop smoking.
Call our team at Daniel C. Bush, DDS today and set up and appointment with our caring dentist.