What health problems come to mind when you think about smoking? If you’re like most people, you remembered lung cancer and perhaps emphysema. Did you know that smoking may also cause many dental problems?
Here are four dental problems linked to smoking:
Smoking may hinder the immune system. That’s why people who smoke tobacco products are twice as likely to get gum disease. Studies have also shown that smokers have a significantly higher risk of suffering from an advanced periodontal disease than nonsmokers.
Gum disease is characterized by tender, bleeding gums that often cause painful chewing and bad breath. The inflammation around teeth may also affect the bone and other teeth supporting structures, increasing the risk of tooth loss.
Studies have shown that smokers have more dental implant failures than people who don’t smoke. Smokers who are considering getting implants should ideally quit smoking before the procedure. If you are a smoker and have lost one or more teeth, ’s Walker Pediatric Dentistry recommends consulting a family dentist about a suitable treatment option.
Tobacco smoking hurts dental esthetics. The nicotine and tar in tobacco may lead to moderate or severe tooth discoloration. Consequently, smokers often complain about yellow and brownish teeth.
Smokers are six times more prone to mouth cancer and throat cancer than nonsmokers. Also, about 90% of persons with mouth cancer and certain types of throat cancer have smoked or chewed tobacco.
Smoking and tobacco use may cause discolored teeth, bad breath, and a diminished sense of taste. It may also hinder the smoker’s immune system. A compromised immune system produces side effects that increase the risk of developing gum disease. Gum inflammation and irritation may consequently affect the jaw bone and other tooth-supporting structures, leading to tooth loss.
Tobacco use may also increase the risk of developing several cancers. There are enough reasons to quit this harmful habit. If you’re unable to stop smoking, seek help.