Most of us are aware of how smoking effects our lungs and heart, but do you know the risks to your smile? Watch today's Tuesday Tooth Talk to find out!
Smoking causes a number of different oral issues. As the smoke goes through the gum tissues and down to the lungs, it actually settles on the teeth. You may see staining and yellowing of the teeth. This may be the least harmful of the effects, but it’s usually the one that people notice first because the nicotine does turn the teeth a yellow color that is very stubborn and difficult to remove. As the nicotine builds up on the teeth, it actually allows harmful bacteria to get down deeper into the gum tissues, which leads to periodontal disease or gum disease and other issues with the support structure of the teeth. Smoking causes gum disease to progress faster than it does in non-smokers. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. As you continue to smoke, the gums will recede and the teeth will look longer, which also enhances the stubborn yellow color on the surface of the teeth. This process just continues and builds on itself. The longer and the more you smoke, the harder the damage is to undo. Smoking also delays a healing response in the mouth. If you get a cut or have a tooth pulled or have anything that isn’t absolutely perfect in the mouth, it takes a very long time to recover. Smoking tobacco causes a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream, leading to the infected gums not being able to heal. For example, if you get your wisdom teeth pulled and end up smoking afterward, you can end up with dry socket. For those who may have experienced a dry socket at one point, you know it’s very uncomfortable! For implants or other areas of the body where there may be inflammation, you may actually end up losing the implant because the smoke settles into those areas and causes pain and inflammation to get worse because your body doesn’t have the chance to recover.
We highly recommend that people get the help they need to quit smoking. We do our best to be as informational as possible and help you help yourself! We want to provide the necessary resources for a whole and healthy life. If you have any questions, please contact us today!
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