Did you know that smoking not only harms your body, but can be extremely dangerous to your teeth too? You’ve probably heard that smoking causes deadly diseases like lung cancer, stroke and heart disease. But you may not know the effects of smoking on your teeth. In this article you’ll learn the dangerous effects of smoking on your teeth and oral cavity.
Smoking is bad and it’s not good for you or your teeth. Once you start smoking, you’ll suffer from bad breath, your teeth will stain and your food will no longer taste as good. Before you know it, your immune system will start slowing down leading to slow recovery and more complications after surgery. Smoking will also reduce your body’s ability to fight infections, causing bacteria and plaque buildup.
Here are 5 effects of smoking on your teeth:
Tobacco contains nicotine and tar. When you start smoking, these chemicals are easily absorbed into your teeth pores, causing yellowish discoloration. The good news is, you can use teeth whitening treatments to remove the stains. But once you smoke again, these awful stains will reappear.
Smoking is a common cause of bad breath, also known as Halitosis. It can even affect your ability to taste and smell. Cigarettes leave tiny particles in your mouth, throat and lungs, leaving the smell of smoke to stay in your lungs for long, even after you finish smoking. This foul smell can become permanent if you smoke for a long period of time. It’s also referred to as Smokers’ breath.
Smokers have a lot of “bad” bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Even brushing alone cannot get rid of it this foul smell. The only way to overcome smokers breath is by quitting smoking completely and treating the oral health problems caused.
It shows that smokers are at a greater risk of getting gum disease than non-smokers. The more you smoke, the higher the chances of you getting gum disease. How?
Smokers have higher amounts of “bad” bacteria which may cause gum disease. They include; Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. Severe gum disease (Periodontitis) can cause your gum to pull away from the teeth. It also weakens your bone structure and soft tissue that hold your teeth. If left untreated gum periodontitis can cause tooth loss.
Smoking can weaken your immune system. It also reduces oxygen levels, hence slowing down your wound healing process. Cigarettes have harmful chemicals that can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, which in turn affect the amount of oxygen your body receives. Although your dentist can help overcome this problem, it’s advisable that you stop smoking completely to speed the healing process.
Oral cancer is the commonest smoke related health problem. In fact studies show that 80% of oral cancer patients use tobacco. Some of the symptoms of oral cancer include: white or red spots in the mouth, ear aches, jaw numbness and difficulty in chewing. The good news is, oral cancer is curable if detected early. So if you notice any of these symptoms, ensure that you visit your doctor immediately and start treatment right away.
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