It’s no secret that the effects of smoking cigarettes negatively impact your health. Tobacco use is expected to kill 1 billion people this century, affecting the health of the smoker themselves and the people they live with. Smokers are four times more likely to develop advanced gum disease compared to non-smokers, and the long-term affect smoking has on oral health makes it easy for dentists to tell when someone in their chair is a cigarette smoker.
How Bad is Smoking for your Mouth?
Because the negative effects of smoking compound over the course of a few years, it can be really difficult for people to realize how detrimental cigarettes are to their health because of how long it takes for symptoms to appear. As Lake Anna dentists, here are some of the common smoking side effects we help our patients with:
- Teeth Stains: Smokers miss out on the cosmetic benefit of a white smoke. Because cigarettes start cake the enamel with smoke and chemical residue, the teeth eventually develop a yellowish tinge that can progress into shades of brown, depending on the person’s use. Regular brushing, flossing, and whitening treatments may help some people offset this particular symptom, but tooth stains are usually inevitable over time.
- Gum Disease: Smoking is one of the habits that increase your risk of gum disease. Otherwise known as periodontal disease, this condition can create persistent bad breath, tooth loss, pain while chewing, and gums that have begun to pull away from your teeth.
- Changes to your Palate: Commonly known as “smoker’s palate,” this condition is identified by the unique way the roof of the mouth becomes thick with white, hard skin. This is often a result of excessive pipe smoking, but many of today’s cigarette smokers have still reported trouble with this condition.
- Lower Immune System: Many people make the mistake of thinking that their mouth has nothing to do with their immune system. As your body’s first line of defense against food-borne bacteria, your mouth actually plays a huge role in keeping the rest of your body healthy. Smoking makes it more difficult for your mouth to heal from small cuts and abrasions, giving bacteria an extended opportunity to impact your health.
- Oral Cancer: Cancer is the cause of a nationwide health concern in the U.S., and smoking only increases a person’s chances of contracting it. Tobacco has now been long known to increase the multiplication of cancerous cells, and up to 80% of people with oral cancer have reported being a smoker during a stage of their life.
We understand that smoking is an incredibly difficult habit to quit. Particularly when you have smoked for a number of years, the lifestyle change it takes to quit can be a shock. Consider joining a smokers support group, using nicotine patches or gum, and engaging in physical activities to help you transition. If you’re concerned about the effects of smoking on your dental health, contact our Lake Anna dentists today to have a professional dentist check in on your dental health.