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The Damaging Effects of Smoking on Oral Health – Sensational Smiles

Posted in Dental Health

While many people would classify smoking as a bad habit, it can also have serious impacts on an individual’s oral and general health as well. While even smokers admit that bad breath and stained teeth are ongoing problems, the damage can often go much further than simple social and cosmetic flaws. Here are some of the dental and oral health issues that smokers face if they don’t kick the habit.

More Likely to Develop Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common dental issues in the United States. If left untreated, it can lead to the loosening of teeth and even tooth loss. Smoking exacerbates this process by interfering with the way that the cells in the gums function. This leads to a loosening of the connection between the roots of the teeth and the jawbone. Not only can this lead to periodontal disease, but it also reduces blood flow to the teeth and gums. The result is that mouth sores in smokers don’t heal as quickly as they should.

Cancers of the Mouth

Many people associate oral cancer with chewing tobacco, but smoking also raises the risk of developing this deadly disease. Oral cancer can develop in a variety of locations including the tongue, mouth, gums, lips and throat. While oral cancer is treatable and can be removed if caught early, it is often found too late. Once the disease has progressed, treatment options are often disfiguring or no longer an option. Smokers should have regular dental checkups and inform their dentist that they are a smoker to attempt to detect early cancer signs.

Increased Risk for Cavities

When an individual inhales cigarette smoke, the tar-like substance contained in the smoke is deposited on their teeth. This contributes to the buildup of plaque which is a sticky substance that clings to the teeth and allows the growth of enamel damaging bacteria. Unfortunately, this places smokers at a three times higher risk for developing cavities than non-smokers. Those who smoke should brush their teeth more often, preferably every time that they smoke.

The good news is that when individuals stop smoking, their risks for developing these dental issues is almost completely eliminated. Whether an individual is a smoker, a former smoker, or a non-smoker, they should obtain teeth cleaning in Sioux Falls on a regular basis to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

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