There’s no denying the negative impact that smoking has on your health. While you may be quite familiar with smoking’s link to lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, it can also wreak havoc on your oral health. Every time you choose to light up, you are increasing your chances for a host of dental health problems, ranging from oral cancer and gum disease to stained teeth and bad breath.
The statistics surrounding smoking and your oral health are worth paying attention to. Did you know that people who smoke are up to three times more likely to have severe periodontitis than non?smokers? Tobacco use is also the main risk factor for developing oral cancer. Since your mouth is the first part of your body to encounter the harmful effects of nicotine and tobacco, it is no surprise that it can suffer most.
A significant concern for smokers is gum disease (or periodontitis). Tobacco products disrupt the gum tissue cells, which hinder the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Deep pockets along the gum line are more susceptible to inflammation and infection. While the early signs of gum disease (gingivitis) are treatable, more advanced stages can cause irreversible damage and pose serious threats to your overall health.
Gum disease, although it tops the charts, is certainly not the only dental problem that smoking causes. Other potential oral health problems associated with cigarette smoking are as follows:
- Bad breath
- Stained teeth
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches inside the mouth
- Delayed healing after dental procedures
- Decreased success rate in implant dentistry
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
At Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry, we know that smoking is a difficult habit to break. However, we encourage you to put down those cigarettes in an effort to protect your smile and your health. If you’ve recently kicked the habit, you’ll find that we have a full range of dental services to address any damage that has already been done, including professional teeth whitening, advanced gum treatments and more.