Are you a smoker? If you are, your doctor has probably been after you to quit, but has your dentist? Dr. Caracioni urges all her patients that smoke that it is in their best interest to quit to protect not only their health but their oral health, too.
The Health Impact of Smoking on Your Teeth and Mouth
Smoking has been proven to kill off the cells in your mouth that are designed to fight against bacterial invaders and other pathogens that make you sick. When these cells are damaged or destroyed, you have a greater risk of becoming ill. Without these cells, your mouth can’t fight against the growth of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film that covers your teeth and is home to millions of tooth decay causing bacteria. This leaves you at increased risk of cavities and pain.
The carcinogens found in cigarette smoke also increases your risk of developing oral or throat cancer by as much as 80 percent, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
The Cosmetic Impact of Smoking on Your Teeth and Mouth
Not only does smoking negatively impact your oral health, it also changes how your teeth look. Smoking can cause your teeth to become yellow and stained. Temporary fixes for discoloration include whitening treatments or whitening toothpaste, but if you continue to smoke, staining will persist.
Smoking also leaves you with bad breath. Not only is smoking, well, smelly, but the decay-causing bacteria that flourish in your mouth because of smoking take over, and put off smelly gases that contribute to bad breath. Brushing and mouthwashes can provide temporary relief but do not treat the root of the problem.
Smoking Contributes to Tooth Loss
Smoking can also negatively impact your gum health. Smoking causes the blood vessels in your gum tissue to constrict, which means the blood and oxygen you need for healthy tissues is reduced. Additionally, the bacteria that flourish in the plaque find a haven in the gums, causing gum pockets to deepen. Eventually, the teeth become loose when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth. Over time, you could even lose your teeth from your smoking habit.
Thinking about quitting smoking? Ask Dr. Caracioni for her tips and advice on how to put down cigarettes for good. Call today 785-783-0741 to schedule your consultation.