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Smoking and Teeth

We all have habits; some habits are good, however others are not so good and can even affect our health. If we grew up between 1960 – 1970 it was common to see and hear in tv the importance of smoking. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the 1960 – 1970 the average consumption of tobacco in the US was about 9~10 pounds of tobacco per capita. In later years, studies demonstrated the harms tobacco causes and because of this, tobacco consumption was drastically reduced.

The effects smoking causes in our health have been known for years, unfortunately once you light up that cigarette it’s almost impossible to abandon the habit.

However, regardless of how long you have been smoking, once you quit the habit you can prevent or reduce the risk of getting a disease and improve your overall health.

Smoking can cause Gum Disease

Tobacco products can lead to gum disease. This happens when tobacco sticks to the bone and soft tissue of your teeth. Smoking tobacco products interferes with the normal function of gum tissue. This interference makes smokers vulnerable to infections and affects blood flow in the gums.
Smoking can lead to the following dental problems:

  • Bad Breath – an oral disease called Halitosis reduces the flow of saliva. Saliva is needed to neutralize acids and wash away dead cells that are accumulated in our mouth.
  • Bone Loss (Jaw) – when tobacco attaches to your gums it affects your jaw bone reducing its size and affecting its functions.
  • Gum Disease – Gingivitis or periodontal disease occurs when bacteria grows and is not treated properly. This oral disease can cause bone loss and plaque. In addition, smoking can cause inflammation, plaque, and tartar.
  • Increased Risk of Oral Cancer – cancer or malignancy is an abnormal growth of cells. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes increases the risk of cancer by six times compared to nonsmokers.
  • Leukoplakia – an oral disease that causes white/gray patches in the patient's tongue, inner cheek, and inside of the mouth.
  • Reduce Success of Dental Procedures – dental procedures can be painful and hard; however, if you smoke pain and discomfort durin a healing process can worsen.
  • Tooth Discoloration – when people smoke, the chemical residues in cigarettes will leave stains in their teeth.

Other Smoking Options

Some smokers might say that smoking cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, or chewing tobacco will not affect them. However, the problem is that these options are just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.

In a 23-yr long study published by the Journal of the American Dental Association, they mention how cigar smokers can experience tooth loss and bone loss at the same rate as cigarette smokers do.

Also, pipe and cigar smokers are at the same risk of developing oral cancer as cigarette smokers. Smoking cigars or pipes will not protect you from bad breath, stained teeth, or gum disease.

Fact: Chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes.

Sani Dental Group advises smokers to avoid tobacco products as much as possible, but especially chewing tobacco. As mentioned, chewing tobacco contains higher lever of nicotine; these high levels of nicotine will make it harder to quit the habit.

In addition, chewing tobacco often contains sugars and other artificial flavors, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Snuff can also be deadly for your gums. These contain 28 chemicals that increase the risk of oral cancer and the nicotine levels smokers intake is more than 60 cigarettes.

Regardless of the time that has passed since this bad habit started, quitting will greatly reduce health risk and oral diseases. We advise you to visit your local dentist; allow your Doctor to observe your mouth and prevent an oral disease. Our team of professionals can diagnose oral diseases and help cure any lesions you may have. Sani Dental Group can help you restore your smile, confidence, joy, and provide tips to avoid certain habits.