The effects of Smoking on Your Teeth and Your Gums
Not everyone knows that smoking can and does lead to teeth falling out. Yes, that’s right – teeth falling out of your head, leaving an ugly gap when you smile! It is not a good look and it is a sure sign that your smoking has affected the circulation to your teeth and gums.
Smoking and Oral Health
It won’t take a trip to the dentist to understand the impact smoking has on teeth and gums.
From bad breath to tooth discoloration, smoking is in no uncertain terms not great for the mouth. And, these are the minor issues. Increased risk of developing oral cancer is higher among smokers than non-smokers, which is one of the most severe mouth problems.
Other oral health problems among smokers include:
• Increased plaque build-up and tartar
• Increased risk of gum disease and probable loss of tooth
• Yellowing of the teeth
• Delayed healing processes following oral surgery, treatment, or extraction
• Increased risk of cancer
Gum disease is one of the most common and troublesome problems associated with smoking. So, how does smoking lead to gum disease?
Smoking impacts the soft tissue and bone attachment of the teeth. The most common cause of tooth loss in adults, particularly those who smoke, is gum disease. Gum disease is inflammation, swelling, soreness, and infection of the tissues providing support for the teeth.
When a person smokes the type of bacteria found in the dental plaque changes, increasing the number of harmful bacteria. The bacteria reduce blood flow in the gums and the tissues surrounding the teeth. This process causes soreness and inflammation. Gum disease worsens among smokers. It is difficult to rid the harmful bacteria unless a person quits smoking.
The Warning Signs
Non-smokers receive warning signs that gum disease may be starting and can combat the problem before it turns into one. The primary warning sign is bleeding gums. But, if you smoke, you may not see the warning sign. Smoking causes a reduced flow of blood and as a result bleeding gyms may not be prevalent. If you smoke, the gum disease may develop without warning.
A sure sign that smoking is impacting your teeth is staining. Once the effects of smoking stain the teeth, bacteria has been introduced into the mouth – the wrong kind of bacteria. Nicotine and tar found in the tobacco cause tooth staining. Stains may cause the teeth to become yellow in a matter of weeks or months. Heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are severely yellow, or even brown, following years of smoking. If there is severe discoloration, the gums are most likely inflamed, diseased, and problematic.
The Big Problem – Smoking and Disease
Smoking is a main cause of cancer in the mouth and throat. When a person stops smoking their risks of developing mouth and throat cancer decreases by 50 percent within five years. Over time, the risk continues to decline. Heavy smokers are at a very high risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, and tongue.
Another major problem for smokers is the disease known as periodontitis. Symptoms of the disease include inflamed and infected gyms, loss of the jawbone, and deep spaces or pockets around the teeth. If you stop smoking, the risk of periodontal and gum disease slows dramatically.
Want to stop smoking and keep your teeth? Help is available.