Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Posted by Smyrna Dental Group Apr 25, 2023

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Smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it can impact your oral health, too? Smoking tobacco can stain your teeth and cause bad breath. It can also lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.

Teeth Stains

Not only does smoking cause bad breath, but it also stains your teeth. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stick to the enamel of your teeth and create unsightly yellow and brown stains over time. While you can whiten your teeth with professional whitening treatments, doing so will not remove the deep staining caused by tobacco. For this reason, many smokers choose to have their teeth whitened before quitting their habit. That way, they can maintain whiter teeth even after they quit smoking.

Gum Disease

Smoking can cause serious gum disease and tooth loss, making smokers twice as likely to lose their teeth prematurely as nonsmokers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins that are harmful not only to the lungs but to the mouth too. Smokers are much more likely to develop advanced cases of periodontitis or gingivitis when smoking puts the body at a higher risk of infection. Many studies have also found that quitting smoking significantly improves gum health and lowers the risk of tooth loss in former smokers.

Tooth Loss

Smoking can cause a number of oral health issues, including tooth loss. In fact, smoking is one of the most significant risk factors when it comes to periodontal disease and tooth loss.

According to the CDC, “The number of adults with periodontal disease is higher among current smokers than among former and never smokers.” Not only does the usage of tobacco increase your chances of developing gum disease, but research has also shown that it can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which may result in tooth extraction.

Additionally, persistent bad breath is one common symptom of gum disease and can be exacerbated by smoking. Smokers may experience chronic dry mouth as well, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and other oral infections.

Oral Cancer

Tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for oral cancers. In fact, smokers are about 16 times more likely to develop oral cancers than nonsmokers. In addition to being more likely to contract the disease, people who smoke are more likely to experience recurrence after treatment and die of oral cancer than those who don’t smoke.

While smoking is the primary risk factor for developing oral cancers, there are other factors that increase the risk of contracting them. For example, your risk of developing oral cancer is higher if you have a family history of cancer or have been exposed to frequent sunlight. Alcohol consumption can also increase your risk. Other risk factors include diets that are low in fruits and vegetables, HPV infection, and immunosuppression.

If you are interested in learning more about our services, call Smyrna Dental Group in Smyrna, TN, at (615) 355-6800 to schedule an appointment with our dentists or request an appointment online.

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