Everybody knows that smoking can have a seriously negative impact on your health. Although your teeth may not be the first thing you think of when thinking about the dangers of smoking, any type of tobacco use can cause severe damage to your teeth. Unfortunately, smoking and tobacco use can be very difficult to stop, and even if you’ve tried before, there’s a good chance that you didn’t stick with it. This means that you’re doing even more damage to your smile with continued use.
At Advanced Indiana, we recognize the importance of educating our patients on the effects of tobacco use so that you may know the harm tobacco use causes to your teeth. Today, we will be telling you about these effects so that you can have a better understanding of why tobacco use should be avoided at all costs.
Both tobacco and tobacco smoke can do serious damage to your teeth, yet most people only think of gum issues and oral cancer related to tobacco use. While these adverse health effects shouldn’t be overlooked, one health effect that most people don’t think about when it comes to tobacco use is tooth decay. Large cavities that exist around the gumline can actually lead to infections and weakened teeth, which can result in eventual breaks in teeth down the road. Broken teeth need to be immediately repaired, and this can be costly.
Sometimes referred to simply as gum disease, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that occurs in your mouth. With time, this infection will impact the gums. In the beginning, periodontal disease will likely only be obvious if you suffer from bleeding gums, red gums that are easily irritated, and a generally sore mouth.
In some cases, periodontal disease can also manifest in the form of receding gums. Luckily, the earliest stage of periodontal disease can often be reversed if you see a dentist at the earliest signs of trouble. Long-term smoking and tobacco use, however, can make the problem much worse.
Most people are well aware of the fact that smoking can turn your pearly white teeth into not-so-whites rapidly. Regular tobacco use can even turn white teeth a yellowish or brown color. The more often that you smoke, the more likely you are to notice tooth discoloration more quickly. The amount that you smoke will also play a dramatic role in how discolored your teeth will likely become, as well as how long you use tobacco products or smoke cigarettes.
When periodontal disease takes control of your mouth, tooth loss is usually soon to follow. In fact, smokers are three to six times more likely to develop gum disease or periodontal disease, which can attack roots and cause teeth to fall out. This is due to the fact that as the gums get weaker, they’ll be less efficient at holding on to your teeth, and this can result in your teeth actually falling out over time. Advanced Indiana can help make tooth loss much easier to deal with by way of a simple tooth extraction done the right way.
Interferes with Blood Circulation
Believe it or not, smoking affects the normal function of gum tissue, which can result in infections and the restriction of blood flow. It can also delay the healing time for tooth extractions, dental implants, or treatment of gum disease. This can make the recovery process extremely difficult. Further, when brushing their teeth or flossing, people that smoke may notice their gums bleeding more easily.
As we mentioned previously, many people know that the use of tobacco can lead to oral cancer. According to WebMD, about 90% of people diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, throat, or lips used tobacco. In fact, smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancers than those that don’t smoke.
The Dental Care You Deserve
If you are suffering from health effects caused by tobacco use, there is help available to you. No matter what shape your teeth are in at the moment, many of the problems related to smoking and tobacco use can be fixed or stopped altogether. We offer the care you need.
At Advanced Indiana, our specialists are experienced in all forms of general dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and comfort dentistry. We accept most major dental insurance and can work with you to form an individualized treatment plan suited to fit your unique needs. Contact us today by calling us at (765) 622-7000 (our Anderson office) or (317) 485-7000 (our Fortville office). You can also request an appointment online. Just because you smoke or have smoked in the past, you shouldn’t have to hide your smile. Advanced Indiana can help.