The negative effects of smoking on the body are well documented, especially on the lungs. But before the smoke gets to the lungs, it passes through the mouth first. Smokers can be impacted by a slew of oral health issues due to prolonged exposure to tobacco. Studies show that despite keeping oral hygiene standards and care habits consistent, smokers are more likely to suffer from dental health issues such as gingival recession and loose teeth than never-smokers.
While minor effects include discolored teeth, in extreme cases, smoking can lead to oral cancer. Learn more about smoking and dental health, the effects of smoking on teeth and gums, and how to prevent lasting damage. At Dean Cosmetic Dentistry we offer oral cancer screening.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Teeth & Gums?
Having constant contact with tobacco leads to many oral health issues, ranging from cosmetic problems to periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases that affect gum health are most prevalent due to a weakened immune system caused by smoking. When your body has a more difficult time fighting off infections, plaque-causing bacteria is more likely to accumulate and cause side effects on both gums and teeth.
The Effects of Smoking on Gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Tenderness and redness
- Pain when chewing
- Receding gum line
- Bad breath
The Effects of Smoking on Teeth
- Tooth decay and loss
- Buildup of tartar
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
How To Care For Your Teeth After Quitting Smoking
Smokers Teeth Whitening Remedies
Stained teeth are one of the most apparent side effects of smoking, as the discoloration can be seen by anyone. Luckily, this side effect is cosmetic and can be remedied over time at home or quickly at the dentist office. Tobacco-stained teeth home remedy options include teeth-whitening toothpastes, hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes, and gel whitening pens. While home remedies are a gradual fix for teeth discoloration from smoking over a long period of time, you can get more immediate results by booking a teeth whitening appointment with your dentist.
Treatments for Gum Issues
From gum bleeding to gum disease, you may still feel discomfort in your gums even after quitting smoking. In fact, bleeding gums may increase as blood circulation increases back to normal levels after kicking the habit. If you have gum disease, schedule an appointment for dental scaling and root planing. These deep cleaning treatments work to remove plaque found under the gum line and scale your roots to decrease inflammation. Call us if you are experiencing discomfort from periodontal issues to find the right gum treatment for you.
Oral Cancer Screenings
One of the biggest risk factors of oral cancer is tobacco use, whether in the form of smoking, chewing tobacco, or snuff. Nearly 80% of those suffering from oral cancer are tobacco users, and risk increases the longer tobacco is used. Even after quitting, it may take 3 to 5 years to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer by 50%. Since oral cancer is best treatedwith early detection, keep up with regular screenings post quitting to ensure cancer doesn’t develop.
Smoking can take a large toll on your oral health, so it is important to monitor your dental hygiene if you are a current or previous smoker. Maintain a thorough at home dental care routine and consult with your dentist to monitor your oral health to ensure more serious issues do not arise. www.deancosmeticdentistry.com 865-539-1119 New Patients Welcome! *No Insurance? No Problem ask us about A Plan For Health #knoxvilledentist
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