With today’s anti-smoking campaigns fewer people are smoking today than there were 20 years ago, however, some people still choose to smoke despite knowing about the different side effects and the cause of cancer. What most people don’t think of when they smoke, is how it affects their teeth and oral health. They are mostly just concerned with their lungs. At Sana Dental, we want to educate our patients as much as possible so they can make healthy choices in their life. Find out how smoking and tobacco affect your oral health. If you smoke or chew tobacco, make sure to pay our Edmonton dentist a visit regularly to avoid serious dental problems down the line.
One of the top side effects of smoking or chewing tobacco that you will notice is the yellowing of your teeth. With regular smoking, the nicotine and tar that’s inside tobacco products like cigarettes will leave discoloration and stains on your teeth. These types of stains are difficult to whiten over especially when the patient has been smoking for a long time. The longer you have been smoking, the deeper and more difficult it will be to remove these stains. In addition, your teeth begin to yellow because the chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products actually weaken your enamel. This means your teeth become less strong, leaving you at risk for cavities and other dental problems. A weak enamel is also easy to spot, as your teeth will no longer look smooth and shiny. They will instead look dull, rough and yellowed. If you want a white and perfect smile, smoking is the best way to ensure you won’t have one.
Another side effect of smoking or using tobacco products is the potential for rotting teeth. When your teeth come into contact with these harmful chemicals and your enamel begins to wear away, your teeth become at a high risk for certain bacteria, destructive substances, and acids that can harm your teeth. Without the protective layer of your enamel, eating a simple candy bar can lead to a rotten tooth. Substances found in foods can eat away at your teeth which will cause a rotten tooth to develop. When you reach this point, you’re most likely in a lot of pain. Your tooth will either fall out or our Edmonton dentist will have to extract it for you.
A rotten tooth can also lead to infections in your mouth which can cause even more problems. When you smoke, there becomes less oxygen in your blood. As a result, your body is less able to fight off diseases and infections. This is why those who smoke usually end up with dental problems like cavities or gum disease.
The decreased levels of oxygen in your blood will immediately lead to a weakened immune system. This leaves your mouth an easy target for infection. When the bacteria in your mouth builds up, it can infect your gums. This can quickly cause the flesh to be eaten away, resulting in receding gum lines. Receding gums can cause tooth sensitivity, and compromise the health of your teeth. Without healthy gums, your teeth have nowhere to anchor their roots too. This is why it’s so important to take good care of your gums. When gum disease progresses without treatment, it’s common for teeth to fall out. Studies have found that smokers are two times more likely to have gum disease than those who don’t.
All tobacco products are highly cancerous. Of course, most people only associate tobacco products with lung disease; however, oral cancer is just as likely. The chemicals found in tobacco products are what causes cancer, including oral cancer. Most people who have oral cancer are unaware that they have it. Oral cancer can usually be caught by your dentist during your bi-yearly cleaning. This is another reason why we want our patients to come in every 6 months. We check for cavities as well as any suspicious spots in your mouth that might potentially be cancer. Oral cancer symptoms usually don’t present themselves until they are in the later stages where it spreads. Symptoms include bleeding, swelling, difficulty swallowing, bumps, pain or numbness in the mouth.
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of smoking or using tobacco products. If you have ever experience sensitive teeth, it can make simple tasks like eating and drinking a painful process. Studies have found that smoking makes teeth more sensitive.
The best treatment for preventing these problems is to simply quit smoking or using tobacco products. Of course, this is difficult to do. We do wish our patients would quit, but in the circumstance that they don’t, they should know that there are toothpaste and other products out there to give your teeth extra care while you smoke. These kinds of toothpaste designed for smokers do not reverse the damage that has been done to your teeth, but it can help protect you from experiencing further damage. We also recommend that you brush your teeth as often as possible to help remove the chemicals from your mouth.
In addition, it’s important for you to visit our Edmonton dentist every 6 months for your check-up. We will help clean up your teeth and check for cancer and other dental problems that may be present. Smoking and tobacco are terrible for your oral health, but luckily, you have dentists here to help.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment
If you are a smoker or you used to be, you should be doing everything possible to take extra care of your teeth and oral health. Although our first recommendation is for you to quit smoking, this is hard. We can recommend doctors to help you through the process. In the meantime, our Edmonton dentist is here to care for your smile. We would like to see you every 6 months or more often if you have any current dental problems going on. We will look for problems, check for oral cancer and do everything in our power to keep your teeth healthy. Fill out our online form or give us a call today to schedule an appointment.