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How Does Smoking Affect Your Teeth?

Posted in Oral Health, Teeth Whitening

3 minute read

Smoking has negative effects on many aspects of your oral health. The smoke and the nicotine in cigarettes discolors teeth and leads to deep stains and, worse, death. Teeth appear yellow and, for more advanced smokers, even have brown streaks.

Young man smoking a cigarette.

Cigarettes also cause excess plaque and tartar to form, further discoloring the teeth and harming the gums, leading to periodontal disease.

Does Smoking Cause Bad Breath?

The short answer? Yes! Not only does the smell of smoke linger on the tongue, inside of the cheeks, and gums, but even sporadic cigarette smoking causes dry mouth. Saliva helps keep your mouth healthy and inhibits the growth of unpleasant-smelling bacteria in your mouth. Both of these can cause bad breath and the distinct odor of stale cigarettes.

What Oral Diseases Are Associated With Smoking?

The most common disease associated with smoking is oral cancer. Smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancer. This can take the form of cancerous growth in the gums, the tongue, lips, and throat. Smoking can also lead to premature death from a variety of its unhealthy by-products. The chemicals in cigarettes are toxic and will change healthy cells into cancerous ones over time. Caught early, oral cancer can be treated, but, if unchecked, it can lead to disfiguration or even death.

The diseases that come from smoking include gum disease and gingivitis, where the gums are infected and inflamed. Severe gingivitis can lead to tooth loss, which would require additional dental treatments, such as dental implants.

What Are the Effects of Smoking on Oral Treatments?

Smoking restricts blood flow by contracting the arteries and veins. This makes healing after surgery and dental procedures more difficult and can lead to death. Plus, the tender areas of the mouth after surgery are more likely to get infected or irritated by the chemicals and nicotine of cigarette smoke.

If you have a tooth extraction or are in the process of receiving a dental implant, your dentist will advise you to refrain from smoking, as this can lead to dry sockets, a painful condition that makes placing an implant difficult.

Maintain Oral Health as a Smoker

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups can help reduce the negative effects that smoking has on your teeth and overall oral health. You may opt for tooth whitening with ZOOM! Teeth Whitening to remove the stans, but if you resume smoking, the effects of this cosmetic procedure will not last as long as they ordinarily would.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments

Dental check-ups every six months will help enhance your oral health, give you a whiter smile and healthier gums, and catch problems with your mouth while they are small enough to fix with minimal treatment.

Interested in Learning More?

Poor oral health won’t fix itself. Contact the offices of Kevin Sands, DDS, to schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our online contact form.