How Does Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

It should come as no surprise that smoking is the most pervasive and widespread addiction in today’s modern society.  You have heard about several health issues that come with smoking, from an increased risk of heart disease and cancer to lung disease and stroke.

Well, there is another area of your health that this unpleasant habit can easily harm. Yes, you read that right. Apart from the countless health risks, smoking can bring about serious damage to your gums and teeth. The number of ways that smoking cigarettes can affect your dental health is not a small list. Fortunately, when chain smokers and tobacco users quit, their dental health gradually recovers. This informative blog will provide you with an understanding of how this bad habit affects your oral health. 

Top 5 Ways That Smoking Affect Your Oral Health And Life

The health risks of smoking and using tobacco products are well known, but many individuals are not aware of just how much damage this addiction can do to their oral health. Potential dental health effects of smoking include the following:

1. Oral Cancer

 Smoking is recognised to be one of the significant causes of oral cancer. This type of cancer appears as an uncontrollable growth of cells in the mouth or throat that doesn’t go away. Early detection and treatment could save your life. Many reports indicate that about 90% of individuals suffering from throat, or mouth cancer are smokers. It is a clear indication that smoking increases your risk of getting the deadly disease.  So, if you already are a smoker, the habit should be stopped immediately.

2. Gum Disease

Smoking is also a significant risk factor linked with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease and gingivitis). Gum disease is the bacterial infection of the soft tissues and supporting structures surrounding the teeth, caused due to stubborn plaque build-up in your mouth.  In its advanced stages, this dental issue can lead to tooth loss. The in smokers is almost twice as high than non-smokers. The ideal way to reduce your risk of gum disease is to stop smoking or using tobacco products. Regular dental check-ups along with correct brushing and flossing technique also play an important role in preventing gum disease.

3. Bad Breath

While bad oral/dental hygiene is the main culprit for foul breath or halitosis, cigarette smoking can also be a leading factor. Smoking can cause this issue in many ways. However, the main reason is the presence of chemicals in tobacco smoke, which lingers in the throat, mouth and lungs, resulting in a stale smoke smell. Using an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help to alleviate bad breath. Schedule an appointment with a dental professional if the issue persists after implementing these measures.

4. Stained Teeth

Another negative effect of smoking is staining of teeth to an unattractive yellow colour.  This happens when your teeth come in contact with harmful substances like nicotine and tar in cigarettes. Smoking can stain and discolour your teeth within a short period and many smokers even notice their teeth turn dark brown or black after some time of heavy smoking. Stained and discoloured teeth can cost your self-confidence, making you conscious at social gatherings. To get rid of this dental problem, professional teeth whitening treatment is required. But, one sure-fire way is to quit smoking.

5. Cavities

Multiple studies have shown the direct relation between cigarette smoking and cavities formation. If you are a smoker, you are more likely to get tooth decay because more bacterial plaque (sticky substance) builds up in a smoker’s mouth. Additionally, those who smoke frequently are likely to develop problems with their gums and are prone to have more cavities. The best way to avoid getting tooth decay or cavities from smoking is to quit. Brushing and flossing correctly, and along with regular dentist visits can also help prevent these dental problems.

The Bottom Line

 Now that you know how smoking and other tobacco products can harm your dental health, do give up this unpleasant habit (if you smoke) as early as possible. If you still have questions in mind concerning the negative effects that smoking can have on your gums and teeth, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dental professional.