Smoking and Oral Health: Risks and Other Matters to Take Seriously

Oct 29, 2014 @ 09:57 AM — by James Stein

A smiling manJames M. Stein, D.M.D. has proudly served the greater Boston area for years. He and his team have been using the latest restorative dentistry treatments to improve patient health as well as advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance smile aesthetics.

Yet prevention, general care, and common sense remain keys to lasting dental wellness. In fact, a combination of all three of those are reasons why you shouldn't smoke. Let's explore the negative impact that smoking has on your oral health.

Tooth Stains Caused by Smoking

One of the most immediate effects smoking has on your overall health is orally. Smoking can lead to a number of dental issues. The most visible of these, and one of the more immediate, is discoloration of the teeth. Typically, smoking can lead to a yellowish discoloration of your teeth that is easily tied back to your habit.

Sores and Lesions Caused by Smoking

In addition to tooth discoloration, you may develop a number of mouth sores directly correlated to your smoking habit, These sores may linger for a considerable amount of time, as your overall health may affect your body’s ability to handle these conditions.

Smoking And Health Problems Related to Your Gums

Smoking puts you at an increased risk for affecting the overall function of your gums, which can lead to a number of complications. The most common complication includes the impaired ability of your teeth to stay connected to your gums, which is not only a health risk, but is also a cosmetic problem that is easily visible to those closest to you.

Smoking also puts you at increased risk of periodontal disease, and also affects the blood flow to your mouth, which may affect your mouth’s ability to heal. If you are concerned that your smoking habit has lead to any of these conditions, see a dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

Increased Risk of Oral Cancer

It's estimated that three-quarters of all cases of oral cancer are linked to smoking and the use of tobacco products. Oral cancers can be especially devastating, and can alter your life in a dramatic way. This is just another compelling reason to quit smoking or not start in the first place.

Other Common Dental Health Worries Linked to Smoking

Here are a few more typical effects of smoking on your oral health:

  • Inflammation of salivary gland openings on the roof of your mouth
  • Excessive amounts of plaque and tartar on your teeth
  • Increased risk of bone loss along your jawbone
  • Increased risk of leukpolakia, which are small, unsightly patches inside your mouth
  • Increased possibility of slowing down the healing process of a number of conditions within your mouth

Getting Treatment Sooner Rather Than Later Is Key to Lasting Wellness

Unfortunately, given the addictive qualities of smoking, it’s very easy to ignore these symptoms as they develop. However, the more you smoke, the worse these conditions will get.

The Journal of Periodontology found a direct connection between the frequency with which you smoke and gum disease. Even if you practice generally good dental hygiene, smoking on a regular basis still puts you at increased risk for any and/or all of these conditions, many of which need to be treated by a dentist and cannot simply be brushed away. While kicking your habit has a number of benefits for your overall health, your oral health is also something to keep in mind to motivate you.

Contact Our Advanced Dental Care Center Today

If you would like to learn more about all of your options for improving your dental health and overall wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Stein and the entire team here look forward to your visit and discussing your needs in greater detail.

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