While smoking is no longer as fashionable as it once was, it still poses a threat to the physical wellbeing of every one of us. We all are aware that smoking is bad for us. We know medical evidence and research have linked it to cancer. What we also need to look at is what kind of impact it has on our teeth and our general oral health.
Your Teeth and Smoking
Smoking does more than affect your lungs. Studies show that smoking can increase the risk of gum disease. This is a serious infection of your gums. Also known as periodontal disease, it can have affect your entire mouth. Smoking weakens the ability of your gums to fight off disease. As a result, bacteria gain foothold and slowly spread throughout the tissue and underlying bone of your mouth. In severe cases, gum disease will actually weaken your jawbone, causing your teeth to become loose and, eventually, fall out. In this stage, there is nothing a dentist can do except to extract the affected teeth.
Gum disease is not the only dental issue resulting from smoking. Other problems include:
- Halitosis or chronic bad breath
- Discoloration or staining of the teeth – usually making teeth yellow
- Build-up of tartar and plaque on your teeth – leading to the development of gum disease
- Redness of the openings to your salivary glands
- Loss of the bones within your jaw
- Increased risk of white patches (leukoplakia) appearing in your mouth on both the inside linings of the cheek and on the tongue
In addition to these dental problems, your dentist may not be able to replace any loss teeth with dental implants. The bone will be too weak to support the posts required to support crowns and permanent bridges. Smoking will also reduce the speed at which you heal following oral procedures. After a simple tooth extraction, your gums will slowly. Moreover, in addition to the high risk of lung cancer, smoking can increase your chances of getting oral cancer.
Smoking and Your Teeth
Smoking presents a danger to your health. It may harm your lungs and cause irreparable damage to your teeth. If you are concerned about the effect your smoking has had on your teeth, feel free to talk to experts in dental care in our New York City office. We can help you understand what is happening and how it will affect your oral health moving forward.