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Why Smoking Is Ruining Your Teeth

Posted on 11/22/2021 by OM
Why Smoking Is Ruining Your TeethMost people know that cigarettes can cause cancer, but they may not know the other side effects of smoking. Smoking affects your teeth because it increases plaque and tartar buildup. It also makes tooth enamel more porous, so bacteria get in easier, which leads to cavities or gum disease. If you are someone who smokes, then this blog post is for you! We will discuss how smoking affects oral health and what quitting can do to improve dental health.

Smoking Causes The Teeth To Become Stained

Smoking makes teeth more likely to develop stains.  This is because chemicals in cigarettes interact with saliva and turn into a yellow-brown pigment that attaches itself to the tooth's enamel. Smoking can also cause dental plaque, which forms on your teeth as you smoke and gets stuck between them. The nicotine in cigarettes also makes the mouth dry, which deprives your teeth of saliva.  Saliva is one of our body's natural defenses against plaque and tartar. If you don't have enough saliva, then bacteria will stay on your teeth longer so they can accumulate more quickly.

Smokers Are More Likely To Have Tooth Decay And Cavities

When you have gum disease, it can cause your teeth to rot.  Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup in the mouth and tartar on top of the gums or along their line. When bacteria build up - especially when there isn't enough saliva available - this leads to inflammation around the tooth's root, allowing an infection to get in.  This inflammation becomes even worse if you smoke, and the infection spreads faster than it would without smoking.

Heavy Smokers Are More Likely To Experience Gum Disease Than Non-Smokers

Gum disease not only affects teeth but can also affect bones and muscles around the jaw, as well. The infection spreads throughout the mouth - especially in areas where teeth are missing - and it can even cause the gums to pull away from your tooth's root, which is very painful. Gum disease also leads to bad breath and swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush them or floss between them. Heavy smokers develop gum disease faster than non-smokers because smoking makes inflammation worse, making gum disease worse.  

We hope you learned something today about the effects of smoking on teeth and oral health. If there's anything we can do for you, please come to our practice or call us at (number).
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Smile More Spokane Family Dentistry maintains a dental blog to help educate and inform our patients about topics that affect their oral health.
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