What Smoking Does to Your Teeth and Gums

What Smoking Does to Your Teeth and Gums

We all know smoking is bad for your health, potentially leading to lung cancer and emphysema. But even if smokers manage to avoid these life-threatening diseases, they may find themselves with a chronic gum disease that can lead not only to pain and an unsightly appearance, but tooth loss as well. Here’s more about the effects of smoking and how it affects your teeth and gums.

Smoking and Gum Disease

Simply put, smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease. In fact, studies have shown that smoking directly causes around half of the gum diseases found in smokers. The more cigarettes one smokes, the more plaque and tartar develops on their teeth. Smoking also causes loss of bone density within the jaw. These factors and others disrupt the normal function of gum tissue, making one susceptible to gum disease.

Early stages of gum disease are marked by bleeding when brushing or flossing. Over time, as the gums begin to break down, pockets form between the teeth and gum tissue, and as the infection worsens, these pockets deepen, causing your teeth to become loose and painful. Untreated, gum disease can cause your teeth to fall out.

Smoking Makes It Harder to Fight Infection

In addition to increasing your risk of developing gum disease, smoking also makes the treatment of gum disease less likely to work. Smoking compromises your body’s ability to fight infection, subsequently hindering your mouth’s ability to heal. While treatment can cure gum disease for smokers, studies have found that smokers respond worse to both nonsurgical and surgical treatment. Additionally, dental implants used to replace missing teeth are more likely to fail in smokers, due to decreased bone density and poor healing.

Other Effects of Smoking on Your Teeth

An increased risk of gum disease isn’t the only negative effect smoking has on oral health. Smoking also leads to:

– Bad breath

– Tooth discoloration (including on porcelain veneers and crowns)

– Increased buildup of plaque and tartar, leading to cavities

– Increased risk of oral cancer

– Delayed healing after oral surgeries and other dental procedures

Take Back Your Oral Health!

The best way to prevent the negative effects of smoking on your teeth and gum is by quitting smoking altogether. However, if smoking has already led to signs of gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment! At Daxon Dentistry, restoring your oral health is our number one priority. In addition to treating your condition, we can also renew your smile for health and beauty. Give us a call or request an appointment today!