During the past, smoking was so commonplace and accepted that a dentist could have lit up a cigarette in his or her office without a single care. Fast-forward a few decades, and now smoking is the scourge to dental practitioners in the United States. While we understand our patients have every right to smoke, we felt the need to discuss how smoking and dental health have a not-so-great relationship.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Mouth?
Stains your teeth
What does smoking do to your teeth? Well, it does a lot. Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar. When these substances combine with oxygen and are inhaled, the substances slowly build into a yellow residue on the teeth. The residue is difficult to remove and helps contribute to dry mouth and tartar build up. This can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
Contributes to gum disease
Smoking is the biggest contributor to gingivitis and gum disease. Smoking reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection. This means bacteria has a greater chance to get beneath the gum line and make them recede.
Increases risk for oral cancer
Smoking and dental health do not get along. Perhaps the most significant and dangerous issue with smoking cigarettes is the increased risk of mouth cancer. If your healthcare provider can catch it early, oral cancer can be treated without major surgery. However, if left to grow, the damages can potentially result in jaw or tooth loss or tongue tissue removal.
What can a smoker do?
To improve your oral health, quit smoking. It may seem impossible due to smoking’s addictive nature. If you continue to smoke, there are some ways to maintain a healthy mouth and get back your teeth’s whiteness.
The first and most important plan of action is maintaining a consistent brushing and flossing regimen and seeing the dentist regularly. Try stronger toothpaste for smokers. These toothpastes are not too expensive, and they have a combination of ingredients to negate the effect of discoloration over time.
Smokers teeth whitening is also an option if a person wants immediate treatment for smoking. However, keep in mind that continued smoking will discolor the teeth again.
Your Smoking and Dental Health
Smoking and dental health just don’t mix. If you smoke, try to break the addiction. Your teeth will thank you. However, if you must smoke, you need the best dental care in Las Vegas to keep your teeth healthy. Consult Dr. Balle or Dr. Guild to keep your pearly whites bright and healthy.
Balle & Associates is staffed by the most skilled and experienced general dentists in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Peter Balle and Dr. Tate Guild use a personalized approach to get to know patients and offer them services specific to their needs.