It is well understood that smoking is bad for your health. It causes heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory illnesses such as emphysema. However, smoking is also bad for your dental health. If you are a smoker, you should discuss with your dentist to be sure you are taking the best care you can of your teeth.
Negative Effects of Smoking on your Dental Health
The most obvious negative effects of smoking as related to your dental health are persistent bad breath and nicotine staining on the teeth. However, there are other issues related to smoking that aren’t as immediately obvious. These include: [pullquote]Smoking reduces the efficiency of the circulatory system, decreasing blood flow to the mouth.[/pullquote]
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Slower healing after oral surgery
- Atrophy of the jawbone
- Increased risk of tongue, mouth, or throat cancer
- Higher levels of plaque and tartar
Because you are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, it is important to visit your dentist regularly so that any problems can be detected before they become serious. Smoking reduces the efficiency of the circulatory system, decreasing blood flow to the mouth. This makes it harder for your body to heal after any kind of surgery. Extractions will take longer to heal, and if you choose to have dental implants, your chances of a successful procedure are considerably lower.
Other Types of Tobacco Products
Cigarettes are not the only tobacco product that can cause these side effects. Cigars, pipes, and even chewing tobacco can compromise your dental health. All forms of tobacco increase your risk of cancer in the mouth. Chewing tobacco can also irritate the insides of your cheeks and your gums. The gums can pull away from the tooth roots, which can lead to increased sensitivity to hot and cold as well as to eventual tooth loss.
With all the risks associated with smoking and other forms of tobacco, the best way to avoid them is to quit smoking.
To learn more about the negative effects smoking has on your dental health, contact the Toronto office of Dr. Nicholas Kemp to schedule an informative consultation.