Smoking and Dental Problems

We all know that smoking has a negative impact on your overall health. But beyond causing yellowing of the teeth and bad breath, many people don't think about the other dental problems that smoking is affiliated with.

Smoking and Dental Problems

Your mouth is the entrance point of your body for all the chemicals and toxins associated with cigarettes. Every single time a smoker inhales, the smoke along with everything that it carries, passes over your teeth, gums and tongue.

Smoking may account for up to 75 percent of gum disease found in adult smokers and is the leading cause of gum disease. In a healthy mouth, the gums are designed to fit snugly around the base of the tooth. Smoking reduces blood flow to the gums, irritates the tissue and can even cause the gums to recede. As the gum pulls away from the tooth it leaves the base of the tooth, along with the root open for damage, disease and sensitivity.

However, as the gum becomes damaged it also begins to form pockets below and between the teeth that trap decaying particles of food furthering damage and decay. Because the gums are constantly compromised, the deterioration leads to bacterial growth, bad breath, infections, mouth sores, and even excessive plaque growth. Eventually plaque can harden into a substance called tartar, which is a cement-like layer around the gums and between teeth. Tartar further gums disease and causes additional irritation, bleeding and pain.

But smoking and it's affect on your teeth, gums and oral hygiene becomes even more detrimental. Smoking is known to cause inflammation of the salivary glands and bone loss in the jaw. Healing properties in the mouth are also reduced due to smoking which further perpetuates problems. And when it comes to oral cancers, because the gums and overall oral health is compromised, smokers are more prone than non-smokers to contract oral cancers.

Now that research is revealing that overall health is co-related to oral health, the state of your mouth, teeth and gums, can be impacting your whole body. If this co-relation is in fact accurate, the implication of smoking is far more serious than what we first thought.

Speak to your dental practitioner or family doctor if you are looking for ways to minimize or entirely break your smoking habit. And if you do smoke, ensure you have frequent visits to your dentist so that the oral health of your entire mouth can be examined.


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