How Smoking Damages Your Smile
You know smoking is bad for you. But when you think about the dangers of smoking, it’s probably lung cancer and oral cancer that come to mind. There’s also a whole host of other damaging conditions caused by tobacco use, and lots of them are related to oral health. Here, Dr. Amy Moubry of Moubry Family Dentistry discusses the damage smoking can do to your smile.
Lots of Problems…
Smoking and smokeless tobacco can leave your smile looking dull and dingy. (We’ve all seen the yellowish- and brownish-tinged teeth of long-term smokers.) These stains can’t be brushed away. It takes the power of professional teeth whitening to lighten discolorations caused by tobacco use.
There’s another type of tobacco staining that’s not so easy to remove. Smoking can stain your gums, too. Gross, right? Brown spots on gums can be especially noticeable if you have a smile that shows a lot of gum tissue. This type of discoloration can only be removed surgically.
Besides staining your teeth and gums, smoking can cause bad breath – the kind that’s not easily remedied by gums, mints, and mouthwashes.
Nicotine also does a number on your immune system. Smoking inhibits the body’s ability to heal itself, which can lay the groundwork for gum disease to flourish. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, dementia, low birth weight, diabetes complications, and more.
Smokers often aren’t good candidates for certain types of oral surgery, such as dental implant placement. This is the because of an inhibited immune system response that slows healing and jeopardizes implant success.
We Can Help
Dr. Moubry encourages anyone with a tobacco habit to stop. If you need help, call us. We can provide you with resources to help you stop smoking. Your oral and overall health may depend on it.