Smoking is hazardous to health. Most of us are aware of this fact. But many do not know that smoking can adversely affect the teeth. Discover how smoking poses dental problems.
Most people argue that genetic predisposition causes dental problems. In reality, smoking also can significantly affect your teeth. Following are some of the effects of smoking on dental health:
- Smoking leads to discoloration of the teeth. Smoking reduces the flow of saliva which cleanses the lining of the mouth and teeth. Saliva also protects the teeth from getting decayed. So, when the amount of saliva gets decreased due to smoking, teeth gets discolored.
- Brown tooth stains are observed on the teeth. Nicotine and tar, the major ingredients of cigarette stains the teeth. Sticky tar gets deposited on the teeth.
- The roof the mouth becomes inflamed, and turns red in color.
- Infected gums get delayed in healing. Blood flow to the gums is restricted due to smoking. Smoking also diminishes the supply of vital nutrients to the gums. It reduces Vitamin C, which helps the gums to stay healthy. A reduced blood flow and Vitamin C, together delay the treatment of gum diseases in smokers.
- Smoking causes chronic bad breath.
- Smoking is also found to cause loss of teeth.
Effects of Smoking on Teeth
Periodontal disease occurs when the soft tissue and bone that anchor the jawbones are destroyed due to bacterial infection.
The early stages of the periodontal disease are characterized by bleeding gums. With the infection getting worse, the teeth breaks down and pulls away from the gums. Pockets are formed due to this. And, when the supporting structures are destroyed, the pockets between the teeth and gums deepen. Ultimately, the teeth become loose and then fall out.
Gum Diseases and Loss of Teeth
Smoking affects the immune system of the body. It weakens the capability of the body to fight against infections. Dental researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, confirm the fact that smokers are less equipped to fight back against infections. They have the risk (6 times) to develop gum diseases than non-smokers.
Gum diseases are manifested by swelling gums. Gum diseases lessen the formation of strong teeth and augment the problem of loss of teeth.
Bacteria get accumulated in plaque (the gluey white material that builds up whenever we do not brush up properly) due to smoking. These bacteria grow within the gum area and cause inflamed gums. The bacteria also affect the jaw. This eventually speeds up the loss of teeth.
Treatment of Dental Problems
- To protect yourself from all these types of dental problems, health experts advise to quit smoking. Without giving up smoking, any kind of treatment for the dental problems will go in vain.
- Practice and improve a proper dental hygiene like regular brushing and flossing. This will prevent the repetition of dental problems.
- Visit a dentist for the treatment of dental problems. On the dentist’s advice, go for medications.
- It is advised for smokers to go for professional cleaning (scaling and polishing) for the removal of the stains. Visiting a dentist for teeth cleaning every 6 months is highly beneficial.
- Drinking at least 10 glasses of water helps in flossing away the toxins.
Teeth loss can impact your life to a great extent. Along with your confidence, your appearance and lifestyle will also be affected. Hence, quit smoking and enjoy the smooth and fresh feeling of clean teeth.
Smoking and Teeth
As detailed above, smoking can have an adverse effect on our teeth. Apart from cigarettes, hookah water pipes, smokeless tobacco and cigars can also cause dental problems.
How Smoking Affects Teeth
- Tobacco use in any form greatly enhances the risk of oral cancer. This disease progresses fast and needs to be diagnosed early for effective treatment.
- Smoking can cause gum disease and lead to tooth loss.
- Smoking lessens the body’s healing powers, and recovery after oral surgical procedures is slowed down.
- Smoking damages gum tissue and leads to receding gums, which exposes the teeth roots. This can cause tooth decay as well as sensitivity to hot/cold foods.
- Smoking also leads to more tartar buildup. To get this cleaned, smokers would have to visit dentists more frequently.
- Cigars and cigarettes contain numerous carcinogens which can cause cancers, including oral cancer.
- Of late, hookah water pipes are becoming popular, but even these do not filter out harmful toxins.
Smokeless Tobacco is Deadly
You might think that you can switch over to smokeless tobacco to escape some of smoking’s harmful effects. The truth is there is more nicotine in chew and dip. The American Dental Association has found dozens of carcinogens in smokeless tobacco brands.
Poisonous Chemicals in Tobacco
Smoking products contain numerous poisonous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, tar and nicotine. When you light a cigarette, these poisons start burning, which makes them more dangerous. The smoke passes through the smoker’s mouth, and leaves behind a sticky residue on their teeth. In fact, just one puff is enough to deposit stains on your teeth.
Tar is Deadly
Tar is the poison responsible for building up residue in the smoker’s lungs, airway, mouth and teeth. As tar buildup grows, healthy tissues in the body start breaking down. Tar and nicotine are the main reasons behind smokers’ yellow teeth.
You can try toothpastes meant to whiten smokers’ teeth. But, they are not as effective as touted. A regular smoker might brush, floss and undergo regular dental checkups, but they still cannot prevent their teeth from becoming stained, darkened and yellowed.