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The harmful effects of smoking on oral health

Smoking is not only bad for your general health; it is also damaging to your teeth. In this post, we look at 5 harmful effects of smoking on your oral health.

  • Teeth discoloration: When you inhale and exhale tobacco smoke, compounds including nicotine and tar settle on your teeth. These penetrate the enamel and stain the teeth. After a few years of smoking, a person develops yellowish or brownish teeth.
  • Dry mouth: In a healthy mouth, the quality of the saliva is good because nutrients can reachoral tissues via the blood vessels in the gums. When you smoke, the tiny nicotine particles in the smoke penetrate your gums. This causes the small blood vessels in the gums to narrow, impairing saliva production.
  • Gum inflammation and cavities: Less blood and thus fewer nutrients reaching oral tissues is damaging to oral health. It results in a dry mouth where bad breath, gum infections, and cavities are more likely to occur.
  • Loose teeth: In people who do not smoke, it is normal for the gums to bleed when there is inflammation. Because nicotine causes the blood vessels in the gums to constrict, this gum disease is less noticeable because the symptom of bleeding gums is less likely to occur. If gum disease goes undetected for too long, periodontitis is likely to develop which may cause the teeth to fall out.
  • Oral cancer: Smokers are five times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. Because the tissues in your mouth are repeatedly irritated, abnormal cancerous cells can form.

Smoking also significantly reduces the life of dental implants. An implant is an artificial root that is attached to the jawbone. Missing teeth or molars are replaced with this prosthesis. A crown, bridge, or prosthesis is then placed on the implant. After the implant is placed inside the jaw bone, the gums heal around it. In smokers, an implant is three times more likely to fail than in non-smokers. Treatment with implants, therefore, becomes more expensive and complicated for people who smoke.

Get treatment for teeth discoloration caused by smoking

If you have recently quit smoking or are still on the journey towards breaking the habit, we can help treat gum inflammation and reverse teeth discoloration through teeth whitening. Give us a call today to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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