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How Smoking Affects Dental Health

Did you know that smoking tobacco is the leading PREVENTABLE cause of death in the United States?  In addition to the overall health risks, tobacco use causes a myriad of dental health related problems, including tooth discoloration and excessive plaque and tarter buildup.  At My Plantation Dentist, we know it can be hard to kick the habit, but we offer guidance and support to our patients that are currently smoking or have smoked in the past. If you’ve noticed a decline in your dental health and are a smoker, we are here to help!

Smoking can impact your oral health by:

  • Reducing blood flow and nutrient supply to the gums and bone causing patients to develop GUM DISEASE, BONE LOSS or TOOTH LOSS.
  • Carcinogens in tobacco cause ORAL CANCER
  • Lowering success rate of dental implant procedures
  • Increased risk of Leukoplakia (white patches on the gums) which is a precursor for cancer.
  • Decreasing salivary flow leading to  BAD BREATH and TOOTH DECAY
  • Inflammation of the gums or roof of your mouth
  • Affects the appearance of your teeth (yellow and brown STAINS from nicotine)

Are other forms of tobacco bad for you too??

Many patients believe that pipe smoking, cigars or chewing tobacco are safer alternatives, but they can be just as damaging to dental health as cigarettes.  Don’t be fooled by boasts and claims of “safer smoking alternatives”.

Chewing tobacco contains at least 28 chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer. Perhaps more alarming, is the fact that chewing tobacco contains significantly more nicotine, an addictive and harmful ingredient, than regular cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco users are also 4-6x more likely to develop oral cancer and the site that the tobacco is placed is 50x more likely to be a site of oral cancer.

Although use of an electronic cigarette (E-Cigarette) has grown in popularity, it is also not recommended.  There is currently not much research available about how these alternatives may affect your health.  However, these devices have been known to allow bacteria build up in the mouth as well as tooth decay and dry mouth.

Smoking hookah vastly increases that volume of smoking inhalation as compared to a regular cigarette. The hookah tobacco, known as “shisha” may lead to the same adverse effects that one may receive from traditional smoking. Not to mention, shisha flavors are often loaded with sugars and dyes that are predators of your teeth.

Tooth decay is a very serious issue and smoking rapidly increases the process. A yellow or discolored set of teeth is one thing, but a damaged and diminished set of teeth may not only lead to self-esteem issues, but also up to thousands of dollars in dental repair costs.

We often choose to live in the moment and enjoy our vices as they come but fail to truly comprehend the irreversible damage they may be causing us in the long run.

Quitting smoking is easier said than done and we understand how tough it can be for some. A helpful exercise might be to look in the mirror each day and cherish your smile. Your smile is what greets the world and everyone in it, so think of the potential damage your smile may suffer from the next time you feel like taking a puff.

At My Plantation Dentist, we are here to lend a helping hand. After a brief consultation, we can discuss the options available to help reverse some of the negative affects of smoking on your dental health. Remember, it’s never too late for a happy and healthy smile!


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