How Smoking Affects Your Mouth

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Smoking’s Effect On Your Mouth Should Not Be Overlooked

Smoking’s effect in developing cardiovascular disease and lung cancer has become well documented over the years. However, how smoking affects your mouth is a much less talked about issue, yet one that is just as serious.

The effect smoking has on your mouth has become an increasingly popular topic over the past decade. Studies have proven that smokers are far more likely to develop periodontal diseases over nonsmokers. There are countless health issues and oral concerns that smoking leads to. One of the most serious conditions is gum disease.

Smoking and Gum Disease

Gum disease is typically identified as the loss of bone around a particular tooth as well as issues with the attachment of soft tissue to your teeth. Smoking hinders the normal function of gum tissue cells, putting smokers in greater danger of developing an infection such as periodontal diseases. Gum disease often leads to tooth loss, so it is no wonder why smokers are more likely to experience it.

Pipe and cigar smokers are just as at risk as cigarette smokers. Individuals who use smokeless tobacco actually put themselves at a greater risk of developing gum disease and even oral and throat cancer. Chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes. In fact, one can of snuff actually equals over 60 cigarettes.

Other Conditions

Smoking has more effects on your mouth than just gum disease and oral cancer. Some of these conditions and symptoms are:

  • Halitosis (Bad Breath)
  • Stained Teeth
  • Increased buildup of plaque and tartar
  • Higher risk of leukoplakia (white patches inside the mouth and on the tongue)
  • Higher risk of dental implant failure
  • Smoker’s palate (the palate, roof of the mouth, becomes white and inflamed)
  • And much more.

What You Can Do 

It can be hard to combat the dangers that smoking and other forms of tobacco present. Even for those who use appropriate oral hygiene practices are at a much greater risk of developing some form of oral disease as opposed to nonsmokers. The best thing you can do to prevent developing any of these conditions is simply quitting smoking.

We know how difficult that can be for many, so here are a few tips to help:

  • Set a quit date.
  • Get support from loved ones, doctors, dentists, and therapists.
  • Practice behavioral distractions, such as using to go brushes or chewing gum when the urge to smoke arrives.
  • Utilize medication whether prescription or over the counter.
  • Prepare for setbacks and to overcome obstacles.

Smoking’s effect on your mouth does not receive the attention it deserves as opposed to the damage it does to your heart and lungs. However, it should. Here at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we understand how important your smile is to your overall life and health. Our oral and dental experts are here to help you understand the dangers smoking presents your teeth and oral health. We are here to help transform your smile if it has been damaged by smoking or to just inform you of the risks and help you quit.