4 Ways Smoking Affects Your Dental Health

Everyone knows smoking gives you bad breath and yellow teeth. It can also lead to um disease and oral cancer. But exactly how does smoking affect your dental health so negatively?

  1. Smoking affects the functioning of your gum tissue cells.

    Smoking and tobacco affect the attachment of bone and soft tissue to the teeth. This happens because smoking can interfere with the normal way your gum tissue cells work. When this type of interference happens, it can lead to infections like periodontal disease and also impair the flow of blood to the gums.

  2. Smoking can cause increased risk of leukoplakia.

    Leukoplakia are white patches inside the mouth that form on your gums or the inside of your cheeks. They can’t be scraped off and can be serious. Most patches are noncancerous but some can show early signs of cancer.

  3. Smoking can cause increased loss of bone within the jaw.

    Smoking can cause your jawbone to wear away, which can eventually lead to painful breaks. This happens because smoking reduces the amount of calcium your bones absorb by interfering with how your body uses vitamin D. Your bones eventually get brittle because less calcium is available to them.

  4. Smoking can cause gum disease.

    Smoking weakens your immune system, which makes it hard to fight off a gum infection. Smoking also makes it harder for gums to heal after they are infected.

Did you know that:

  • Smokers have twice the risk for gum disease as nonsmokers
  • The more cigarettes and the longer you smoke, the greater the risk for gum disease
  • Gum disease treatments may not work as well for smokers
  • Any form of tobacco, whether it be cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, can raise your risk for gum disease

The one way that smoking won’t affect your future dental health is by reducing the amount you smoke oy by quitting. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that leukoplakia completely resolved within six weeks of quitting in 97.5% of patients who used smokeless tobacco products.

There are many reasons to quit smoking and the preservation of your dental health is one of them. Not only can smoking cause physical decay to your smile, but it can cause a bevy of other dental health problems that can be life threatening. If you’re a smoker interested in quitting, check out some of the many resources available to help you quit.

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips