How Smoking Affects Oral Health (aka More Reasons to Quit)
Here at Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we feel that patient education is an important part of the dental care process. Many of the patients who visit us from around the greater Philadelphia area agree. We always do our best to inform them of the latest cosmetic dentistry treatments that can enhance the appearance of their smiles as well as advanced restorative dentistry treatments that improve dental wellness. We are also more than happy to provide patients with dental care tips and discuss the negative consequences of certain actions and activities.
With this in mind, we want to look at the damage that is done to your overall oral health if you are a smoker. Some of the following facts may be more obvious than others.
Smoking Causes Tooth Stains and Discoloration
One of the most notable problems that smoking can pose to your oral health is an aesthetic one. Smoking, particularly for many years, will lead to the gradual discoloration of your teeth. This yellowing and staining can be especially bad if a person has smoked for years. This is just one reason to avoid smoking, but there are many other compelling ones.
Smoking Increases Your Risk of Gum Disease
Gum disease increases your chances of developing gum disease, which is the bacterial infection of the soft tissues of the mouth. The gum tissue cells do not function as they should in a smoker's mouth, and they wind up being more prone to infection. Gum disease comes in three stages:
- Advanced periodontitis
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to bleeding gums, discolored gums, gum recession, loose teeth, and the spread of the infection to the jawbone. To help prevent gum disease, it's best to quit smoking.
Bad Breath and Smoking Are a Given
Smoker's breath is one of the least appealing odors out there, and if you're a smoker, you're going to have it. This may seem obvious, but the bad breath can persist even if you don't think it does, lingering on your lips and the skin around the mouth. What's more, the smell of cigars and cigarettes can permeate the clothes you wear and the items in your home.
Oral Cancer Risk Increases the Longer That You Smoke
Perhaps the biggest oral health issue that is linked to smoking is the increased risk of developing oral cancers of some kind. Smoking will not just affect the lungs. The jaw, the throat, the tongue, and the salivary glands can all be negatively affected by smoking cigarettes.
Get Help with Quitting If You're Having Trouble
Given all of the issues above related to oral health, you have plenty of good reasons to quit smoking. If it's difficult for you to quit cold turkey, consult with your general practitioner about all of the options for quitting that are out there. It's may be a tough road ahead if you're trying to stop smoking, but it's also a longer and healthier one.
Treating Dental Problems Caused By Smoking
There are many ways that we can treat the dental problems that result from smoking, whether they are predominantly cosmetic in nature or affect your overall dental wellness. These dental care treatments will be discussed in greater detail during your visit to the practice.
Learn More About Your Dental Care Options
To learn more about all of your options for excellent dental care and improving your dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Bruce Wilderman and his staff look forward to your visit and helping you have a healthy, beautiful smile.