We all know smoking is incredibly bad for our health, and causes a vast variety of medical problems. But did you know smoking is especially harmful to your mouth and teeth?
Many of us still do not fully realize the extreme damage that smoking causes to the place it enters our bodies through. Here is a list of all that is affected in our mouths from contact with smoke.
Nicotine and tar in tobacco make teeth yellow. Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t take a prolonged use to notice the changes in fact yellow teeth are just the start of it.
Our teeth connect to gums and bone in the jaw, meaning smokers are more likely to suffer from gum disease. It severely affects the tissue in the gums which make them far more vulnerable to infection. It can also lead to bone loss in the jaw and disintegrates the bone that holds your teeth in place, when weakened this leads to a hugely increased chance of tooth loss.
Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, we all know cause cancer but have you ever thought about how when smoking they all enter the body through the mouth and nose. Smoking transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Smoking causes roughly two in every three mouth cancer cases.
Smoking results in an increased build-up of bacteria, or plaque, on the teeth which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque caused by smoking can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth beneath the gum and weakens the bone supporting the tooth.
When plaque stays on the teeth for a long time due to not cleaning your teeth properly it hardens into a scaly like substance called tartar. Smokers are more likely to suffer from tartar which often leads to receding gums and gum disease.
Smokers breath is often one of the first problems you develop when smoking. Cigarettes leave smoke particles lingering in the mouth, throat and lungs long after you have finished your cigarette.
White or grey patches may develop on the tongue, cheek, or the floor of the mouth, known as leukoplakia. This happens due to the constant irritation of the soft tissues inside the mouth due to smoking.
There is only one way to avoid any of these problems is to stop smoking all together even the occasional social smoker can be affected by these smoke derived consequences. Smokers and non smokers alike should follow the three basic rule of good oral health. Brush your teeth last thing at night and first thing in the morning with fluoride toothpaste, cut down on sugary foods and drinks, visit your dentist regularly, or as often as they recommend.
Your dentist may be able to provide you with smoking cessation advice. And when in doubt of having any of the above mentioned symptoms don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist immediately