How Smoking Affects Your Teeth

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 36 million people in the United States who smoke. While this number has decreased, each of those people is still at risk for the side dental side effects that result from smoking.

The topic of today’s discussion is what smoking does to your teeth. Though it seems like the biggest concern people have is discoloration, the truth is smoking can cause so much more. For starters, cigarettes lower your mouth’s ability to ward off infection. So your mouth has less of a chance of fending off the bacteria that comes with smoking and when this happens, plaque develops faster.

The side effects of smoking are:

Stained teeth

As we said before, the most obvious side effect of smoking is discoloration. Teeth turn yellow because of the chemicals in tobacco that cling to the enamel on your teeth. Many folks turn to whitening treatments that can help over time, but if you continue to smoke the whitening treatments may stop working.

Horrible breath

Every time you smoke a cigarette the particles stay in your mouth long after the cigarette is done. As a result, your breath takes on the smell of a cigarette and can smell like an ashtray for hours. Smoking causes an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth which leads to the horrible breath. The frustrating part is that brushing and gargling don’t get rid of the smell. Furthermore, the bad breath can be caused by the onset of gum disease, decay, and oral sores. The only surefire way to stop the bad breath is to quit smoking and to speak to a dentist about proper dental treatments.

Periodontal disease

Due to the consistent exposure to cigarettes, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease as nonsmokers. The unfortunate part is that the risk increases every time you smoke a cigarette and periodontal treatments tend to be less successful for smokers.

Why is that the case? As we said before, smoking lowers your mouth’s chances of fighting off bacteria, which causes it to build up on the teeth and make its way to the gums. When this is left untreated, your gums will start to separate from your teeth which weakens your jaw bone.

Many smokers end up losing teeth because their mouths don’t receive breaks from smoking, so there’s virtually no healing time. Even if you make the commitment to brush, floss, rinse and follow up with tartar treatments, it may not be enough.

If you suffer from dental problems caused by smoking, be sure to schedule an appointment with the staff at Dental Arts Dr. Deb Cassill. We specialize in periodontal treatments as well as smile makeovers and enjoy working with patients in the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Robins, and surrounding areas. Trust us to make over your smile today.

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