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Smoking is a prevalent habit globally, and it has various effects on an individual’s health. One of the impacts that arguably is not thoroughly discussed is how smoking affects dental health. Teeth play a crucial role in speaking, chewing, and overall appearance, making it imperative to maintain their health. This article delves into this often-overlooked aspect of smoking to provide a comprehensive insight into how the habit affects the health of a smoker’s teeth.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a new warning to teenagers: Want to smoke? It could cost you your teeth.

When it comes to convincing teenagers not to smoke, you gotta think short-term, says the Food and Drug Administration. And the FDA is putting $115 million into spreading that message through a large media campaign.

NPR has a great article on the subject you should check out.

What Are The Effects of Smoking on Teeth

1. Tooth Discoloration

– Habitual smokers often experience teeth discoloration due to the chemicals found in cigarettes.
– Nicotine and tar present in tobacco products lead to a build-up of stains on the teeth surface, causing a yellowish or even brown color.

2. Bad Breath

– Smoking dries out the mouth, which paves the way for the growth of bacteria, leading to bad breath or halitosis.
– The chemicals found in cigarettes, such as hydrogen cyanide and ammonia, can also contribute to the foul odor.

3. Gum Disease

– Cigarette smoking weakens the immune system, making a smoker more susceptible to bacterial infections in the mouth.
– Smokers usually suffer from an increased accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth, which can lead to gum disease.
– The inflammation of the gums caused by smoking can result in periodontal disease, a significant factor responsible for tooth loss.
– Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to suffer from advanced gum disease compared to non-smokers.

4. Oral Cancer

– Smoking is a significant risk factor for the development of oral cancer.
– According to the American Cancer Society, about 90% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are tobacco users.
– The risk of oral cancer increases with the duration and frequency of smoking.

5. Delayed Healing After Dental Procedures

– Smoking negatively affects blood circulation, resulting in decreased blood flow to the gums and other oral tissues.
– The lack of proper blood supply hinders the healing process after dental procedures, such as tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or dental implants.
– Smokers are also at a higher risk for postoperative complications and infection after oral surgery.

6. Tooth Sensitivity

– The chemicals in tobacco products can cause tooth enamel to wear away, leading to tooth sensitivity.
– Smoking also causes gum recession, exposing the sensitive root surfaces of the teeth. This makes the teeth more susceptible to temperature and pressure changes, resulting in tooth sensitivity.

7. Cavities

– The increased accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth due to smoking increases the risk of developing cavities.
– Additionally, the reduced immune response in smokers compromises the body’s ability to fight off the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

8. Weakening of the Jawbone

– Smoking hinders the absorption of calcium, which leads to a weakened jawbone.
– A weakened jawbone can result in the loss of teeth and difficulty with dental implants.

9. Decreased Success of Dental Implants

– Smokers face a higher risk of implant failure compared to non-smokers.
– Poor circulation and a compromised immune system hinder the integration of dental implants into the jawbone.

10. Aesthetic Issues

– Apart from the health implications, smoking also causes aesthetic issues, such as stained teeth and an unpleasant smile.
– The bad breath associated with smoking also affects a person’s social interactions and their overall self-esteem.

Conclusion for Effects of Smoking on Teeth

The harmful effects of smoking on teeth and dental health are well-documented. By quitting smoking or reducing the frequency of the habit, individuals can improve their oral health, reduce the risk of diseases, and preserve their overall dental wellbeing. Additionally, it is essential for smokers to maintain good oral hygiene habits, including regular dental check-ups, to mitigate the detrimental effects of smoking on their teeth.