Everybody knows that smoking wreaks havoc on your health. While your teeth may not be the first thing you think of when considering the dangers of smoking, any kind of tobacco use can bring about some serious damage to your mouth.
The fact is that smoking and tobacco use can be difficult to stop. Even if you’ve tried before, there’s a good chance you didn’t stick with it. That means you’re doing even more damage to your smile by continuing to use tobacco.
Sadly, the longer you continue to smoke, the more damage you’re likely to inflict. That doesn’t mean there’s no way to stop the damage and even reverse some of the impact tobacco can have on your mouth, though.
Use this guide to learn more about how tobacco can harm your teeth and mouth, as well as how you can do your part to put an end to the harm.
Most people know that smoking can turn your pearly whites into not-quite-so whites in a hurry. Regular tobacco use, even if you’re not a pack-a-day smoker, can turn white teeth into ones that are yellow or brown.
The more you smoke, the more likely you are to notice tooth discoloration quickly. The amount you smoke will also play a role in how discolored your teeth become, as well as how long you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products. DHA Madison plays a role in your tooth whitening experience.
A quick Google image search can show you the real impact of smoking and tobacco use when it comes to discoloration.
Tobacco and tobacco smoke can do some serious damage in your mouth, but most people think of oral cancer and gum issues. While those shouldn’t be overlooked, not many people associate smoking and tobacco use with the kind of tooth decay dentists often see in their patients.
Large cavities that exist around the gum line can lead to infections and weak teeth, which can cause breaks down the road. Broken teeth will need to be repaired, which can be costly and, in many cases, painful.
Periodontal disease, sometimes referred to simply as gum disease, is basically a bacterial infection that occurs in your mouth. Over time, this infection impact the gums.
At first, periodontal disease will likely only be obvious if you have bleeding gums, a generally sore mouth and red gums that are easily irritated. In some cases, periodontal disease can also manifest as gums that look like they’re receding.
While the early stages of periodontal disease can often be reversed if you see a dentist, long-term smoking and tobacco use can lead to the problem becoming worse.
If periodontal disease is left to fester for too long, the infection can spread into tissue and bone, which can then become weaker. Over time, bone damage can occur if periodontal disease is not treated and the infection is never remedied.
In severe cases, periodontal disease can get so bad that surgical intervention is necessary to deal with damaged bone. Bone grafts and restorative surgery are sometimes required in these cases.
When periodontal disease takes hold in your mouth, tooth loss isn’t usually too far behind. That’s because as the gums get weaker, they’ll do less to hold onto the teeth. DHA Madison can help make tooth loss easier to deal with by a simple tooth extraction done right.
Where there is periodontal disease, you’ll also usually find a higher rate of decay due to infection.
Seeking Dental Help
No matter what kind of shape your teeth are in at the moment, many of the problems related to smoking and using tobacco can be fixed or stopped. In many cases, discoloration can be fixed with cleaning, polishing and whitening procedures. Decay can be treated with fillings, root canals and even crowns, and periodontal disease is often reversible via deep cleaning, sometimes referred to as scaling and root planing.
If you’ve lost teeth or are close to doing so, your dentist may be able to help you save them and work with you to create a solution that allows you to proudly show off your smile again.
Quitting smoking might be difficult to do, but once you get there, you’ll be glad you did. There’s no reason to hide your smile just because you’ve smoked in the past.
Dental Health Associates
A Dentist For You
Whether you’ve only smoked for a few years or you’ve been a lifelong smoker, our skilled dentists can help make sure you keep your teeth and mouth healthy with our several Madison-area clinics, including our dentistry near Shorewood Hills, Downtown Madison, and more.