Do You Smoke? 3 Reasons Your Habit Is Bad For Your Dental Health

8 August 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you are a smoker, you probably already know that your habit carries with it health risks to your overall health. However, it can also have adverse effects on your dental health. Below are three ways smoking cigarettes can be bad for your both your teeth and gums.

Stains Your Teeth

The most visible effect on your teeth from smoking is the staining that happens from the tar and nicotine. The constant exposure to these substances turns your tooth enamel yellowish brown.

Not only does smoking stain your enamel, but it also contributes to the formation of plaque. The tar and nicotine stick to the tartar built up along your gum line, contributing to its stickiness. Then, the sticky layer attracts even more food and bacteria, leading to further tartar buildup that eventually turns to plaque. This then further compounds the discoloration of your teeth.

Weakens the Enamel

Along with staining your enamel, cigarette smoke also weakens it. The nicotine, tar, and other chemicals found in the smoke eventually break down the usually hard outer layer of your tooth.

As your enamel weakens, you become more susceptible to cavities. As you continue to smoke, the chemicals then work to deteriorate the tender pulp exposed by the holes in the enamel. This breakdown of pulp can then lead to tooth decay, as well as exposed nerves.

Leads to Gum Disease

Your teeth are not the only parts in your mouth that are directly affected by smoking cigarettes. Your gum tissue is also highly sensitive to its effects.

Along with the tartar and plaque buildup along your gum line that can lead to gum disease, the substances in cigarette smoke also contributes to the tissue's breakdown. As the outer layer of the tissue thins, bacteria are more able to penetrate into your gums. The combination of these effects can lead to periodontal disease and infection.

Not only does smoking lead to the formation of gum disease, but it can also make it harder for you to treat it. The chemicals in cigarette smoke tend to slow down your immune system and its ability to heal your body. Since your body cannot fight off the disease, it progresses faster than if you did not smoke.

If you quit smoking now, you can decrease your risk of developing dental health problems by half. Once you finally kick the habit, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options for regaining your teeth and gums' health.

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