The Dental Effects of Smoking

Smokers frequently feel indignant because many procedures will say that any and all guarantees are void if you smoke. This is not just a discriminatory act to give guarantees to as few people as possible; smoking is a legitimate medical concern and the success of a procedure simply cannot be guaranteed if the patient is a smoker. In this article I wish to explain why smoking is bad for the mouth and what kind of consequences smoking can have.


What smoking does

The benzoates and nicotine and tar in cigarette smoke dries out the mouth, causing chronic xerostomia, which makes the mouth less able to fight off bacteria. The drying out has effects on the gums and teeth, and the smoke itself is carcinogenic. The effects on oral health of inhaling a substance like this are devastating, such as:

Oral cancer

The scariest and most severe thing that can happen is developing oral cancer. Smoking irritates the cells in the mouth and causes immune reactions that can easily turn cancerous. Oral cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the world, and it is the one that most frequently affects young people.

Periodontitis, gum bleeding

The soft tissues in the gums are particularly negatively affected by smoking. The gums tend to shrivel up and recede in order to avoid being in contact with the smoke and will thus lead to exposed teeth, which can decay quicker. The gums are also worse at fulfilling their functions when they are in a recessed state, and can also bleed more frequently. Weakened gums are more likely to contract periodontitis or gingivitis, and to house bacteria.

Tooth decay

Partially because of increased exposure, and partially because of the negative effects of the smoke contacting the teeth, smokers tend to have more cavities, and are at a heightened risk of tooth decay. Being constantly dry and unlubricated causes bacteria to stick to teeth more, and as there is not enough saliva to wash them off, they tend to do more damage.

Bad breath

People with dry mouths tend to have worse breath. Smoker’s breath is commonly known to be a negative effect of the habit and is due to the increased bacterial presence in the mouth.

Help in quitting

If you are experiencing the negative oral health effects of smoking, you need to quit immediately. Even if you go to a dentist frequently, they cannot nurse your mouth back to health if you are constantly poisoning it. Certain procedures like dental implants and other more serious interventions require that you quit, and it will boost your overall health. Ask your dentist in seeking help to quit smoking cigarettes.   


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