In this day and age, very few people, not even smokers, would try to deny that smoking is an extremely destructive habit that wreaks havoc on your health, and drastically increases your chances of a premature and painful demise. But the question we’ll be looking at in this article is what does smoking do to your teeth? And the answer is, nothing good! Who would have guessed it?
Smoking Effects on Teeth
1. Bad Breath
Have you ever smelt a dirty ashtray, or a bar the morning after the night before? If you’re a smoker, that’s what your mouth smells like most of the time.
2. Tooth Discoloration
Cigarette smoke is full of noxious and carcinogenic substances, and one of these is tar, a sticky black substance that not only collects invisibly in your lungs but also sticks to your teeth, quickly turning them from pearly white to a discolored, streaky yellow. Not a good look. And if your teeth are turning yellow, imagine what state your lungs, where most of the tar ends up, are in.
3. Tooth Decay
Most people are aware that smoking heightens your chances of developing oral cancer in the long-term, but it can also drastically increase the immediate risk of tooth decay as well. Tar and other substances sticking to your teeth as a result of smoking, provide an ideal anchor for the plaque and bacteria that attack your teeth and cause cavities and other dental health issues.
4. Gum Disease
Along with cavities, a build-up of plaque such as that produced by smoking can very quickly lead to gum, or periodontal, disease, especially when coupled with the damage to your immune system in general, that smoking causes. By smoking, you are at the same time creating ideal conditions for harmful bacteria to breed in your mouth and compromising your body’s natural defense mechanisms against these, same bacteria. Gum disease leads to a sore mouth, bleeding, and even receding gums.
5. Bone Damage
Untreated gum disease, especially when aggravated by smoking, will affect the surrounding bone and tissue, weakening it to the point where a bone graft may be necessary to repair the damage to your jaw.
6. Loss of Teeth
All the above factors will eventually lead to your teeth falling out. Although some tooth loss, either through accident or natural causes as time takes its toll, can be expected over a lifetime, smokers generally start to lose their teeth at a much younger age than non-smokers, and once they start going, they go rapidly.
As if these direct negative impacts on your dental and overall health aren’t bad enough, there is also a secondary one.
Smoking is a very expensive habit. Even if you’re a light to a moderate smoker, your addiction can easily cost you a couple of thousand dollars a year (do the maths). And most smokers choose to finance their habit by foregoing, among other things, regular dental checkups.
Whichever way you look at it, smoking is a vicious cycle of self-destruction. So, if you are a tobacco addict, get help and kick the habit.
And if you need a bit of extra persuasion before you give up, book an appointment with us here, at Doral Sedation Dentistry, and we’ll be happy to spell out the damage you have already done to your teeth and gums, and what further problems you can expect if you continue on your course of self-destruction.