Smoking is bad for your lungs, we all know that, and you may even know that smoking will stain your teeth, but the problem for your teeth goes well beyond staining.
Smoking can cause serious damage for your entire oral cavity, resulting in long term issues including gum disease, tooth loss, and even a significant risk of oral cancer.
Smoking tobacco can:
Patients who smoke have an increased problem with bad breath. Besides the smell of tobacco, smoking brings odor causing bacteria, increasing the problems with bad breath.
Increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gums, the soft tissue that supports your teeth. Smoking introduces bacteria into the mouth, and if the patient is not brushing after every cigarette, this can have long term negative effects.
As a factor of gum disease, patients who smoke have an increased likelihood of gum recession. As your gums pull away from your teeth, this exposes the roots, causing the patient sensitivity and pain, along with teeth that can then shift and feel loose.
Smoking decreases healing in your body. As a result, many dental procedures have a high failure rate, or more risk of extended bleeding.
Smoking invites negative chemicals in your mouth. These chemicals are noted for causing cells to rapidly reproduce. Smoking is a significant cause for oral cancer. Oral cancer is a rapidly progressive form of cancer that can be detrimental to the patient.
What can I do?
Of course, the best course of action would be to stop smoking. If this is not possible, or if you are working on a longer plan to stop smoking, there are some steps you can take. Patients who smoke should increase their frequency in brushing their teeth.
Chewing sugarless gum can help increase your saliva production and help remove food and bacteria particles in your mouth. Increasing your fluids, namely water, can help remove bacteria and plaque in your mouth, decreasing bacteria and improving your breath.