Cigarettes are known to cause a multitude of health issues, including oral health issues.
This makes sense; between the toxins in the cigarettes and the fact that they touch your lips and teeth when you smoke them, your teeth are bound to take a hit. But what exactly goes on in your mouth if you’re a habitual smoker? What are the effects of cigarettes on your teeth?
Common Dental Problems Caused by Cigarettes
There are many negative oral health effects caused by cigarettes, but according to WebMD, the most common are:
- Bad breath
- Discoloration of teeth
- Swelling of the salivary glands
- Increased buildup of tartar and plaque
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, or white precancerous patches inside the mouth
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Delayed healing of sores, injuries or tooth extractions
- Lower success of dental implants
- Increased risk of oral cancer
Gum disease in itself becomes a real issue for those who smoke. The ability for gum tissues and bones to connect to your teeth is severely affected. This also leaves the smoker more susceptible to infections.
Cigars and Pipes
Unfortunately, the risks don’t change if you decide to smoke a pipe or cigar instead, according to WebMD. It’s found that people who smoke pipes and cigars are just as likely to have issues with gum disease and are put at the same risk for certain forms of oral cancer. There are enough toxins in cigars and pipes to have the same effect as cigarettes.
Dental Hygiene Tips for Smokers
The best thing that you can do to lessen the chances of tobacco use affecting your mouth is to quit. However, this isn’t always an easy thing to do, so it’s best to keep your teeth as clean as possible during the time that you do smoke (Read more about the effect of E-cigs).
If you choose to smoke, it’s imperative that you keep your appointments with your dentist. They will be able to tell you if your gums are healthy. It might even be a good idea for you to make more than the suggested semi annual visits, to make sure gum disease or cancers are not forming.
For those who smoke, it’s important to make sure you’re brushing, flossing, and cleaning properly. It’s even suggested that you use a tongue cleaner in order to keep the tobacco from affecting your tongue and giving you problems with your breath. There are also toothpastes for smokers that can help manage the effects of cigarettes on your teeth.
If you find that there are long lasting sores in your mouth, this is a sign that you should talk to your dentist. At Friendly Dentistry, we help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy and can suggest the best ways to take care of your teeth.