How Smoking Affects Your Teeth

Smoking does more than yellow your teeth. It can lead to long term damage and tooth loss. Therefore, if you are a smoker, you have to take extra care of your teeth as long as you continue to smoke. Here are some of the ways smoking can lead to tooth damage and loss and what you can do to reduce your risk of dental problems.

Ways Smoking Affect Your Teeth

Pretty much anything you put into your mouth has an effect on your teeth. However, smoking pulls through and deposits extra chemicals with an added effect. Here are some of the ways smoking is particularly harmful.

Smoking Affects Blood Flow

Smoking causes blood vessels to restrict, and this reduces its flow to the mouth and gums. Poor blood flow contributes to gum problems and potential tooth loss.

Smoking Deposits Chemicals

Smoking directly deposits chemicals on the teeth and gums. This can lead to thicker than normal plaque and tartar buildup that only a hygienist can remove.

Smoking Affects Treatment

Smoking slows down healing time. So if you need gum surgery, implants, or other types of oral treatment, you will heal more slowly. Lengthened healing time increases the chance of infection.

Smoking Causes Cancer

Smoking not only causes lung cancer, but also oral cancer.

Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Dental care is especially important for smokers. Here are some ways to keep your teeth healthy.

Brush and Floss Daily

Brush at least twice and floss at least once a day. You may also want to use periodontal brushes or a water pick if you have sizable spaces between your teeth. Try using products formulated for smokers whenever possible.

Keep Your Dental Appointments

Seeing your dentist or hygienist regularly helps with early problem detection and reduction. Most people do fine with visiting their dentist twice a year. However, if you are a heavy smoker, you may want to visit more often.

Perform Regular Self-Examination

Make sure you do a periodic self-examination. Keep an eye out for swollen gums, white spots in the mouth, or lumps that could indicate more serious problems. Check under the tongue and around the lips as well.

Smoking is hard on your teeth. If you want to keep them healthy, you must pay special attention to them. Tell your dentist how much you smoke. That way they can make an effective treatment plan to minimize problems. If you have questions about keeping your teeth clean or about dental care in general, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist for help.