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dental issues

Dental Issues: Cigarettes and Your Teeth

Most people are aware of what smoking does to the lungs, but many are unaware of the harmful effects of cigarettes and your teeth. Many dental issues can arise because of the impact of cigarettes and your teeth. Not only does smoking harm every organ of your body and reduce your life expectancy, but it also affects both your teeth and gums.

What Are Some Dental Issues Caused by Smoking?

Your mouth is the entry point to the body. When you smoke, your teeth and gums are directly impacted by the cigarette in your mouth.

Some dental issues caused by cigarettes include:

  • Tooth Discoloration

    The enamel of your teeth is a finish with small cracks. As you age, these cracks absorb what is put in the mouth. When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine, and tar seep into these cracks, which cannot be brushed away. Stained teeth are the result of this buildup of plaque and tartar. Teeth whitening can help brighten the smile after you quit smoking.

  • Tooth Loss

    Smoking reduces oxygen in your bloodstream, which is important for the healing processes of the body. When you have gum disease or other dental issues that require surgery, this means you’ll heal slower, which increases your risk of infection.

  • Gum Disease

    Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Smoking is one of the most impactful factors of developing gum disease in adults. It begins with bacterial growth. However, smoking increases your chances as you introduce bacteria to your mouth every time you have a cigarette. Your gums become inflamed when you smoke, which further increases the likelihood you develop gum disease.

What Are Some Common Signs of Gum Disease?

When it comes to dental issues, gum disease is one in which you can reverse. It’s the first stage of gum disease and can be treated with a professional deep teeth cleaning at Eriks Dental Group.

Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding while brushing the teeth
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity

What Happens When Gum Disease is Left Untreated?

When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more advanced stages of gum disease that can lead to tooth separating from the gums, and even tooth loss. Pockets form between the teeth and the gum where bacteria collect, and an infection begins. Because a smoker has a compromised immune system, the infection spreads and grows beneath the gum line quickly. Ultimately, as a smoker, you have twice the risk of developing gum disease and the more you smoke, the greater your risk.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

While gingivitis and early stages of gum disease simply require a deep teeth cleaning, the more advanced stages need a more invasive procedure. Surgery to remove tartar underneath the gum line or to help heal bone or gums lost due to periodontitis help resolve these serious dental issues caused by smoking. Both surgeries will require extensive recovery, especially since healing is slowed in patients who smoke. An increased risk of infection exists too, which will be monitored closely by our professional dental team.

Learn The Harmful Effects of Cigarettes and Your Teeth

When you want to learn more about what smoking can do to your oral health, schedule an appointment with our Boynton Beach dentist at Eriks Dental Group. Establishing a good oral hygiene routine with brushing at least twice a day and flossing helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, smoking can still affect them even with proper care. To schedule a dentist appointment, call us at 561-733-4004 today.