It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. From the state of your lungs to your body’s overall functionality, the ill-effects of smoking are widespread. However, one often overlooked side effect of smoking is its effect on the health of your teeth. Learn what smoking does to your teeth and oral tissues with help from your Chehalis, WA dentist.
How does smoking affect my smile?
The most obvious effect of smoking on your smile is the color of your teeth and the bad breath the smoke’s smell leaves behind. However, smoking does much more than just aesthetic damage. Smoking increases the risk of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss, and oral cancers. Studies have shown that smoking throws off the functionality of the gum tissues’ cells. If these cells do not function properly, there is an increased chance of infection. Smoking also affects the blood flow throughout the body, slowing down healing times of your gums. Additionally, your Chehalis dentist may suggest you not get dental implant surgery, because smokers have a lower success rate.
Is smokeless tobacco safer for my mouth?
Smokeless tobacco is actually just as, if not more, damaging to your mouth than smoking. Chewing tobacco contains more nicotine than cigarettes, making it even more addicting. Smokeless tobacco users have an exponentially higher risk of mouth and throat cancers and gum disease. The gum tissue itself is also affected and begins to recede and pull apart from the teeth. This could cause hot or cold sensitivity and make eating or drinking more difficult.
How do I quit using tobacco?
There are countless resources available to help you kick your smoking habit. Quitting now means that your risk of cancer and gum disease decrease dramatically. Some studies have even shown that, over time, the risk for these conditions goes down to about the level of someone who has never been a smoker. Medications, nicotine replacements, classes and support groups have all proven to be effective at helping you quit smoking.
For more information on kicking your smoking habit or to learn more about how smoking affects your smile, please contact Dr. Michael White in Chehalis, WA. Call (360)748-0168 to schedule your appointment today.