5 Ways Smoking Affects Your Dental Health
Whether you’re an avid smoker or you’ve given up the habit, you would know smoking isn’t good for your physical and mental health. But how does it affect your oral health? Research has shown that in 2019, approximately 34.1 million adults in the U.S. smoked cigarettes, with over 16 million Americans living with a disease related to smoking.
So, if you’re looking to maintain a gleaming smile, taking a drag on your cigarette or any tobacco products may not be the best way to go about it. Here’s how smoking affects your teeth, gums and breath.
The chemicals in tobacco products influence your saliva flow, easing the process of oral bacteria sticking to your gums and teeth. This bacteria-filled coating can grow on your teeth and gum line, and if it isn’t eliminated daily, it may solidify into tartar. This material is so hard that no amount of brushing can remove it from your teeth, and only a professional dentist can eliminate it.
Since smoking can irritate your gum tissue, it can trigger an infection and inhibit blood flow. Whether you undergo tooth extraction or dental implant surgery, your healing may be delayed if you smoke regularly. Recovery will be much harder, and so will simple acts like flossing or brushing, making your gums bleed at the slightest scrape.
Studies have shown that 3.9 billion individuals are afflicted with dental illnesses globally. Smoking is detrimental to your mouth, lips and throat, with 90 percent of tobacco users being affected with mouth cancer.
Smoking dries your mouth of saliva. What does this do? Saliva is essential for neutralizing acids, dampening your mouth and sweeping away dead cells on your gums, tongue and cheeks.
Once the moisture is wiped out, the cells rot and lead to bad breath. Additionally, smoking will also cause your teeth to become yellow, so if your smile is important to you, this may not be an ideal indulgence.
Regular smoking causes inflamed gums that puts you at a higher risk of developing gum disease. This can harm your teeth’s roots and leads to falling teeth. If you thought you could get away with smokeless tobacco products, think again.
Tobacco products are known to aggravate gum tissue, making them loose around your teeth. This increases the chances of bacteria settling in and leading to tooth decay in your mouth.
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