Smoking and oral health are closely intertwined. In addition to causing bad breath, smoking also increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. It also stains teeth, causes bad breath, and makes it harder to keep teeth clean.
In smokers, the gum tissue can recede and form pockets around the teeth. These pockets trap bacteria and plaque and lead to infections that not only damage oral structures but can contribute to heart disease as well. Smokers also often experience bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Brushing and flossing are essential parts of good oral health habits; however, please discuss proper techniques with your dentist. In addition to bacteria, tobacco use can also increase your risk of oral cancers.
A recent study found that smoking affects the density of your jawbone, which can lead to loose teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes and cigars reduces blood flow to your jaw, which slows down your body’s natural healing processes. As a result, your gums may not get the necessary nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. This can cause gum recession over time, contributing to tooth loss as well as other oral and overall health problems.
Another study showed links between smoking and poor oral health as well as an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Smokers are three times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, and smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing oral cancer by as much as 50 percent.
Smoking stains your teeth, giving your mouth a yellow or brown tint. It can also dry out the mouth and stain the tongue. Not only that, but smoking also makes it harder for your gums and bone structure to regenerate tissue and repair themselves when damaged or infected. This means that even if you quit smoking, the damage done to your teeth and gums may still be present. What’s more, the longer you have smoked and the more cigarettes you smoke, the more severe the damage will be.
Treatment such as scaling, using mouthwashes, and even fillings will still likely be necessary to treat lingering issues in the mouth.
To learn more, visit the ZM Dental office at 14502 N Dale Mabry Hwy #102, Tampa, FL 33618. You can also reach us at (813) 513-5045 and schedule an online appointment.