When discussing the harmful effects of smoking, many prefer to focus more on its heart and the lungs and forgo oral health. Smoking causes discoloration of the teeth, bad breath, and can lead to a number of serious illnesses. According to the U.S Department of Health and Services, smoking has been responsible for the deaths of more than 20 million Americans in the last 50 years.
In this blog, we highlight the reasons as to why smoking is disastrous for your oral health.
Effects of Smoking on Teeth and Gums
To give you an idea of just how dangerous smoking is, consider the following statistic published by the American Cancer Society: Smoking is responsible for killing more Americans than car accidents, alcohol, guns, illegal drugs, and HIV combined. Not only does smoking cause cancer but the damage it causes effects nearly every vital organ in the body including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, mouth, reproductive organs, skin, eyes, and bones.
Additionally, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Mouth Healthy website states that the use of tobacco and smoking causes bad breath, reduced taste of smell, and stained teeth. Over time, smoking hinders the immune system and reduces the body’s ability to recover from surgeries. Also, smoking is identified as one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, the effects of which includes irritation, inflammation around the teeth, depleting bone structures, and can even result in tooth loss.
Smoking leads to tooth decay and makes it difficult to perform restorative dentistry. The use of tobacco also leads to a number of health complications and increases the risk of oral cancer due to the abundance of lymph nodes and blood vessels around the neck.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting anything that has already developed into an addictive habit is never an easy task. However, with time and effort even seasoned smokers have been known to kick the habit. Here are a few steps you can take to make quitting easier.
- Set a quit date and prepare yourself mentally.
- Seek help from friends, family, doctors, dentists, and even counselors.
- Keep yourself distracted by playing a sport or engaging in a hobby whenever the urge to smoke becomes strong.
- Use medication.
- Don’t be dissuaded by setbacks, if you find yourself relapsing into the same old cycle, restart the process again.
Discolored teeth and bad oral hygiene reduces one’s self-esteem and prevent them from interacting with others. West Hills Smiles is home to some of the best dentists in Woodland Hills, California and provide a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry the helps patients maintain good oral hygiene. Contact us today for more information.