How Cigarettes Affect Your Oral Health

Your dentist in Medina does everything possible to ensure your good oral health. However, sometimes bad habits can make it more challenging to maintain that good health. For instance, smoking cigarettes is not only bad for you overall; it actually negatively impacts your oral health. Here’s how.

Smoking Causes Gum Disease

Did you know that cigarette smoking is a leading cause of gum disease? Most people equate gum disease and tooth decay with sugar, but smoking can lead to the same outcome. Gum disease is an infection of the gums and can be caused by the ingredients in cigarettes. In fact, smokers are two times more at risk for gum disease than non-smokers. The more and longer you smoke, the higher that risk becomes. Even worse, continuing to smoke makes it more likely that common treatments for gum disease won’t work for you.

Smoking Causes Yellow Teeth

Have you ever looked at the teeth of someone who has been smoking for a long time? You’ll notice that smokers’ teeth are discolored. That’s due to some of the ingredients in cigarettes, such as tar and nicotine. Those ingredients stain teeth and cause them to look yellow and in poor health. Teeth whitening may remove the discoloration temporarily but it will soon return with more smoking.

Smoking Impedes the Healing Process

Smoking lowers your immune system and impedes the healing process. Anytime you have a mouth sore, tooth extraction, oral surgery, or another treatment that requires a time of healing, it will take much longer due to smoking. And a longer healing time means a higher risk of infection.

Smoking Causes Bad Breath

Everyone appreciates fresh breath. It’s a sign of good oral health. But if you smoke, your breath will never smell fresh. In fact, smoking causes bad breath, which will likely keep other people from wanting to be too near to you.

Smoking Increases Risk of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a terrible disease that can lead to all kinds of negative outcomes. When you smoke, you expose the tender tissues inside your mouth to deadly carcinogens that can lead to oral cancer.

If you currently smoke, talk to your Medina dentist about ways to quit the habit. The sooner you stop, the sooner you can start enjoying optimal oral health.