While it’s common knowledge that smoking is a serious risk to a person’s overall health, many people still don’t realize the direct damage smoking causes to their mouth, gums and teeth. This includes vaping and e-cigarettes as well. Aside from cosmetic issues like yellowing or staining teeth, a compulsive smoking habit is very likely to lead to severe gum disease, which weakens your immune system, and it is one of the most common causes of mouth cancer.
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How Smoking Ruins Your Oral Health
- Smoking stains teeth and can cause a dulled sense of taste and smell. This lessons the enjoyment of food slowly over time. Having less taste sensitivity can also encourage poor eating habits, as extreme flavors that are sugary or acidic can be very damaging to a person’s teeth.
- Smoking leads to gum disease. A smoker has twice the risk of developing gum disease compared to someone who doesn’t smoke. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
- Smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal after a dental procedure due to a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. As a result, many gum disease treatments aren’t effective.
- Smoking weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once gum disease advances to periodontal disease, there is no turning back.
- Smoking not only causes lung and throat cancer but it’s one of the main causes of mouth cancer.
- If gum disease is left untreated, it will lead to decay and eventual tooth loss.
- The only cure for periodontal disease is to have all of the natural teeth removed, thereby removing the disease at its source.
How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss daily and correctly to remove plaque.
- See a dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
- Quit smoking. Make quitting a priority. The longer you wait the more damage will be done.
When Prevention Isn't an Option
We all recognize that not all gum disease is caused by smoking. Many of our patients have unavoidable gum disease issues related to genetics, other diseases, tooth crowding, and commonly not being taught the importance of good oral care habits as a child. Whatever the cause of gum disease, it isn’t something to be ashamed of and it’s absolutely not something you have to live with forever.
The New Teeth Now procedure is a full mouth dental implant restoration that replaces all of a patient’s unhealthy teeth with prosthetic bridges. The result is a highly functional set of teeth that will give you the freedom to eat and smile with confidence.
If smoking has severely impacted the oral health for you or someone important to you, give us a call to discuss your options. New Teeth Now is here to help.