The dangers of smoking to the lungs, the kidney, and the heart are well-documented. However, not many people talk about how much impact smoking has on dental wellbeing. If you smoke regularly, here are a couple of ways you are endangering your mouth:
Tobacco products contain tar and nicotine; when these chemicals come in contact with the teeth, they cause discoloration. The longer you have been smoking for, the more these chemicals damage your teeth, and the harder it is to remove the stains.
The chemicals also wear down the enamel, exposing the teeth to bacteria from plaque and acids from soda drinks. This affects the inner layer of the teeth and cavities start to appear. If unaddressed, the teeth decay to the roots and they start to fall out.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Constant smoking reduces the level of oxygen in the blood, compromising the body’s ability to fight against infection. As a result, plaque builds up in the mouth and the bacteria can easily attack the gums, leading to gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease). This may escalate and lead to tooth loss and the extensive gum damage that is characteristic of periodontitis.
Chemicals found in tobacco are highly carcinogenic and according to a report released by the Oral Cancer Foundation, tobacco smoke has over 70 chemicals that have been found to cause cancer. Majority of people over 50 to suffer from oral cancer are (or were once) heavy smokers.
Smoking has been shown to add no benefit to the body, but rather, it destroys everything it comes in contact with. Regular smoking will cause you to lose your teeth, your gums, and your beautiful smile.