Smoking not only affects your lungs, how you look, or your weight, it also has a significant impact on your teeth and oral health. These symptoms may not always be evident, so it’s important to see your dentist and hygienist for routine dental cleanings and checkups. At these appointments, your dental professional will evaluate signs associated with smoking and oral health problems, as well as conduct routine oral cancer screenings. Some of the effects that you may experience include:
Stain and Discoloration
One of the most noticeable effects of smoking is a smile that appears aged, yellow and stained. This discoloration isn’t just superficial; it seeps deep within the surface of the enamel and typically requires professional strength whitening treatments to improve the appearance of your teeth.
It Masks Symptoms of Gum Disease
Most people become aware that they have gum disease when they experience swollen, bleeding gums and bad breath. With smokers, their gums do not bleed when they floss or brush, even if there is infection. This can allow symptoms of periodontal disease to be non-existent and the disease become advanced until it’s nearly too late to treat.
Smoking Contributes to Tooth Loss
Gum tissues in the mouth of a smoker are deprived of adequate blood supply, due to vessels shrinking away from the smoke exposure. This means infections like gum disease are difficult to treat, even with professional help. Deep infections and bone loss continue to worsen and will compromise the stability of the teeth, causing them to become mobile. Bone loss is irreversible, and once damage has occurred in a smoker, they are more likely to lose their teeth due to inability of the gum tissues to heal.
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