why is smoking bad for your teeth
There are 36 million smokers in the United States, according to the, amounting to about 15 percent of the population. While this number has declined over the years, itБs still a large number of people who are at risk for dental issues that come with smoking. What does smoking do to your teeth? бTobacco hurts your teeth in many ways. Cigarettes limit your mouthБs ability to fight off infection, which leaves you defenseless against the bacteria produced by smoking. When your mouth canБt fight back, plaque and bacteria fester. What Does Smoking Do To Your Teeth? Tooth Discoloration Yellowed or stained teeth is one of the most obvious signs that someone is a smoker. The chemicals in tobacco cling to the enamel in your teeth, causing them to stain over time. Teeth whitening treatments can help slow down this process, but if you continue smoking itБs impossible to stop or reverse it entirely. Bad Breath The old saying Бyour breath smells like an ashtrayБ definitely holds true with smokers today. Cigarette particles remain in the mouth long after a cigarette is finished, which cause the breath to take on the characteristics of a cigarette. Beyond that, the longer-term effects of smoking also contribute to bad breath. The overgrowth of bacteria in the smokerБs mouth leads to horrible breath. Unfortunately, amount of brushing or gargling with mouthwash will get rid of the smell because it is coming from gum disease, oral sores, and decay.
The only real way to turn things around is to stop smoking entirely and work with a dentist to address the underlying issues it caused. Prolonged smoking can also lead to inflammation of the salivary glands, which results in painful swelling in the face and could require surgery if salivary gland stones develop. Gum Disease, smokers are twice as prone to gum disease as nonsmokers. The risk increases with every cigarette you smoke, and gum disease treatments do not work as well on smokers. Why is this? Smoking decreases your mouthБs ability to fight off bacteria, which allows it to build up on teeth and eventually make its way to the gums. If left untreated, gums can pull away from teeth and cause the underlying bone structures to weaken. The most severe form of this is periodontitis, where the bone and tissue holding teeth in place break down, causing teeth to fall out or be extracted. Losing teeth is an outcome for heavy smokers because their mouths donБt get a break long enough to heal. Smoking also counteracts the effects of gum disease treatments like brushing, flossing, prescription mouth rinses, and tartar removal treatments. Delayed Healing Unfortunately, the bad news does not end there for smokers.
Not only does smoking increase your risk of things like tooth extraction and oral surgery, it also slows down your bodyБs ability to recover from these procedures. It also lowers the rate of successful dental implant procedures. The more time your mouth spends in a vulnerable state, the more prone you are to developing further complications. A dentist can help mitigate this as much as possible, but treatment plans are only so effective if the patient continues to smoke. Oral Cancer The most severe form of smoking-related mouth issues is oral cancer. According to the, about 50,000 people in the U. S. are diagnosed with oral cancer each year and an estimated 80 percent of them are smokers. The risk of developing oral cancer increases when smoking is combined with heavy drinking. Oral cancer begins as a white or red patch in the mouth accompanied by difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness in the jaw, and even pain in the ear. While there are certainly other causes for these symptoms, the National Institutes of Health recommends that anyone who has these symptoms for more than two weeks should see a doctor. The earlier cancer is detected, the more effective treatment will be. Again, a dentist can put together a treatment plan to help mitigate the issues associated with smoking, but the only way to make them go away completely is to stop smoking.
Dental issues are just one of the many parts of your body that can be affected by smoking; quitting will ensure a healthier life for years to come.
Are Smokeless Tobacco Products Safer? No. Like cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products (for example, snuff and chewing tobacco) contain at least 28 chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of and of the throat and. In fact, chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it harder to quit than cigarettes. And one can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to recede or pull away from your teeth. Once the gum tissue recedes, your teeth roots become exposed, creating an increased risk of tooth decay. Exposed roots are also more sensitive to hot and cold or other irritants, making eating and drinking uncomfortable. In addition, sugars, which are often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, can increase your risk for tooth decay. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to develop tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down your teeth. Regardless of how long you have used tobacco products, quitting now can greatly reduce serious risks to your health.
Eleven years after quitting, former smokers' likelihood of having periodontal (gum) disease was not significantly different from people who never smoked. Even reducing the amount you smoke appears to help. One study found that smokers who reduced their smoking habit to less than half a pack a day had only three times the risk of developing compared with nonsmokers, which was significantly lower than the six times higher risk seen in those who smoked more than a pack and a half per day. Another study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that the lesion leukoplakia completely resolved within 6 weeks of quitting in 97. 5% of patients who used smokeless tobacco products. Some statistics from the American Society present some other sobering. They state that: About 90% of people with of the mouth, lips, and throat use tobacco, and the risk of developing these cancers increases with the amount smoked or chewed and the duration of the habit. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers. About 37% of patients who persist in smoking after apparent cure of their cancer will develop second cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat, compared with only 6% of those who.
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