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How smoking affects your teeth

Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can cause some serious damage to your oral and general health.

It’s no secret that smoking has some detrimental effects on one’s overall health, and when it comes to oral health, the habit can be just as harmful. Fortunately, the number of people who smoke around the world is on the decline — largely thanks to new information and research regarding its effects. However, the habit still causes serious health issues for many people each year. Read on to find out how smoking could affect your smile and why it’s worth quitting for the sake of your general wellness…

How does smoking affect your oral health?

Smoking can affect your oral health in many ways. Some of the most common issues related to smoking include stains on the surface of the teeth, bad breath, and a loss of smell and taste. The habit also affects the immune system’s ability to fight off oral diseases. It often results in longer recovery times following infections and dental procedures.

Research suggests that individuals who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease than those who don’t smoke. Also, smoking contributes to the build-up of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. It increases the risk of tooth decay and even tooth loss over time. Other possible side-effects of smoking include mouth sores, ulcers, receding gums, and oral cancer.

If you have missing teeth and would like to restore your smile with a dental implant, your dentist is likely to recommend that you quit smoking. The habit is associated with the lower success of dental implant surgery and can lead to bone loss within the jaw.

Are other forms of tobacco use harmful to the teeth?

Just like cigarettes, other forms of tobacco use, such as smoking pipes and cigars, as well as chewing tobacco, can all cause oral health problems. Studies suggest that pipe and cigar smokers are just as much at risk of tooth loss as cigarette smokers. These habits can also lead to issues like bad breath, stained teeth, and gum disease.

Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco are also linked to an increased risk of oral cancer, as well as gum irritation and tooth decay.

How can you quit smoking?

If you are a smoker and are concerned about the effect of the habit on your oral and general health, you should seek professional help. Your doctor or dentist will be able to give you the information and support you need to quit the habit sustainably.

In some cases, your health practitioner may prescribe medications or recommend over-the-counter products to help make the process easier for you.

The reality is that smoking cessation takes time and commitment, but the health benefits will be well worth your efforts. Smoking is a leading preventable cause of disease and death. By quitting the habit, you will enjoy considerably better oral health. Chat to your dentist about how to begin the process. Also, learn what other steps you can take to improve the condition of your smile.

How can we help?

At Kitchener Street Dental, we care about our patients’ overall wellness. If you are looking for information or support relating to improving your lifestyle and the condition of your teeth and gums, we encourage you to come and see us. Our team is available to address any questions or concerns you have. We will guide you towards the best course of action, depending on your particular needs.

We offer a comprehensive range of treatments, including general, restorative, and cosmetic services. To see the full scope of our services, please have a look here.

If you would like to come in and see us, book an appointment here or give us a call at 07 4638 5111.

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