Is Smoking Hurting Your Teeth And Gums?

23 August 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

A lot of attention is focused on how smoking affects the lungs and heart, but the harmful activity can lead to serious consequences for your dental health, too. Smoking can cause dental problems that could eventually lead to a need for cosmetic procedures to repair. If you are a smoker, here is what you need to know about how the activity impacts your teeth and gums:

What Can Smoking Do to Your Dental Health?

One of the most noticeable consequences of smoking is that your teeth can start to show signs of discoloration. When you smoke, chemicals from the tobacco are released and they can end up stuck to the surface of your teeth. The weakened enamel will leave your teeth unprotected and eventually staining occurs.

Another unfortunate problem that is related to smoking is that it can cause bad breath. When you smoke, the production of saliva slows and bad bacteria is not washed away. The more bad bacteria there is in your mouth, the more likely it is that you have bad breath.

Even if you follow a strict dental hygiene regimen, there is a possibility that smoking could lead to gum disease. As the bad bacteria builds up in your mouth, it sticks to your gums and teeth. The weakened surfaces leave you vulnerable to developing gum disease. Once gum disease is present, you are at a higher risk for cavities, teeth decay, and teeth loss.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Teeth?

The best way to prevent problems from smoking is to quit. Quitting will not only be beneficial to your dental health but also your overall health. Quitting is challenging, but it is possible.

One of the first places you can start in your quest to stop smoking is to talk to your dentist. He or she can talk to you about the safe ways to replace smoking in your routine. For instance, instead of chewing sugary gum, you can opt for gum that is sweetened with xylitol. The natural substance adds the sweetness you are craving without the dental problems that come with sugar.

Talking with your dentist also gives insight into your current dental health. If your teeth and gums have already been impacted by smoking, knowing this could be motivation to help you quit. The dentist can create a treatment plan for your teeth and gums and give pointers on how you can go the extra mile to protect your teeth in the future. 

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