Smoking and Your Dental Health

May 28, 2013

We all know smoking is negative for a person’s overall health, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that smoking has a negative toll on dental health as well. While smoking is not an easy habit to quit, it is important for smokers to know that their habit can cause a number of undesirable side effects to their dental health:

 

  • Bad Breath — Nobody wants bad breath, right? Well, smoking is a common factor in the development of bad breath. Smoking reduces the amount of saliva you produce, which is a deterrent of plaque formation and tooth decay — factors which cause halitosis, or “bad breath.”

  • Staining of Teeth — The nicotine and tar that exist in tobacco products have properties which lead to the discoloration of teeth, causing brown or yellow stains to form on your teeth.

  • Loss of Sense of Taste and Smell — Over time, smoking can affect your ability to perceive taste and smell stimuli, either dulling or eliminating the sense entirely.

  • Tooth Loss — The rate of tooth loss in smokers is almost double that of non-smokers. Indeed, studies done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that smokers and former smokers have among the highest rates of poor dental health.

  • Tooth Decay and Gum Disease — Smoking indirectly leads to increased production of plaque, causing more tooth decay. Additionally, tobacco is an irritant of the gum tissue, leading to an increased rate of infection and gum disease, as well as a slower rate of healing due to impaired blood circulation.

  • Oral Cancer — Perhaps the most important deterrent against smoking is that it increases your risk of developing oral cancer. Cases of oral cancer make it difficult for patients to swallow, cause the development of mouth sores and can lead to death.

 

If you are a smoker and have questions about the effects your habit can have on your oral health, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today for more information.