Cigarettes can have many negative effects on your health, such as lung cancer, heart damage, and poor circulation. But did you know that your teeth can also suffer when you smoke? Smoking cigarettes has been linked to several oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, staining, and an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Read on to discover what can happen to your teeth when you smoke cigarettes.
When you smoke cigarettes, the smoke enters your mouth and coats your teeth with a sticky film. This film traps plaque on the surface of your teeth and creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Over time, this bacteria can break down your enamel and cause cavities.
Smoking also reduces your saliva production, which is important for washing away plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Without enough saliva in your mouth, it can become a breeding ground for germs that lead to cavities and gum disease. If you notice that your mouth is dry more often than not, smoking cigarettes could be to blame.
Smoking can also cause your teeth to become discolored or stained over time. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes leave yellowish-brown stains on the surface of your teeth that are difficult to remove. Many people that regularly smoke find that it is extremely challenging to remove stains from smoking with store bought products and must resort to professional whitening treatments.
The nicotine and tar in cigarettes can also cause oral cancer. This is because these chemicals can linger in your mouth and irritate the soft tissue, leading to an increased risk for cancer. If you experience any changes in your mouth or jaw such as swollen lymph nodes, sores that don’t heal, white patches inside of your mouth, or any other symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Oral cancer can be fatal if not caught early.
The chemicals present in tobacco smoke can narrow and stiffen your blood vessels. This can lead to poor circulation in the mouth, which means there is less oxygen for your gums and teeth. Poor circulation can increase the risk of gum disease, as well as other oral health issues. If you have other conditions that lead to low circulation, such as diabetes, you may be more likely to experience oral health issues related to smoking.
It’s important to remember that smoking cigarettes can have serious consequences on your oral health. If you are a smoker, it is important to quit as soon as possible and take steps to protect your teeth. If you are concerned about the effects of smoking on your oral health, contact our Jenkintown periodontist today for a consultation. We can help you develop an effective plan to protect your teeth and keep them healthy for years to come.