General Dentistry Office Shares How Smoking can Harm Your Teeth and Gums

general dentistry Baltimore, MD

General dentistry offices recommend cutting back on habits like smoking in order to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Smoking is not only bad for overall health, but it is just as bad for oral health. Tobacco products can even lead to teeth falling out if the issues it causes are left untreated.

Why general dentistry promotes not smoking

Smoking ruins the appearance of teeth by making them turn yellow, but the damage does not stop there. Outlined below are some of the reasons general dentistry offices recommend avoiding smoking any tobacco products:

1. Increases tartar and plaque build-up

There are chemicals in tobacco products that reduce saliva flow. Saliva serves as a natural mouth cleanser that washes away food particles, bacteria, and acids in the mouth. Bacteria coats teeth with plaque, which eats away at their surfaces. Plaque can be removed by brushing, but it can also harden and turn into tartar. Tartar promotes tooth decay and it cannot be removed by brushing. A metal tool called a scaler is needed to get rid of tartar.

Tartar and plaque can make their way beneath the gum line, prompting an immune system response. This leads to inflammation and tenderness as bacteria in tartar and plaque battle antibodies. The condition is known as gum disease and it can lead to teeth falling out of when left untreated. People who smoke regularly are six times more likely to have gum disease.

2. Hinders blood circulation

General dentistry practices also state that smoking makes it harder for oxygen molecules to be absorbed into the blood, and it restricts the flow of blood throughout the body. Smoking also slows down the healing process, making it harder for a person to recover from minor oral surgery like the installation of implants, gum disease treatments or extractions. People who smoke often have gums that bleed easily after flossing or brushing, which is a dangerous symptom. 

3. Increases the risk of oral cancer

Per WebMD, about 90% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer are smokers. Quitting smoking significantly reduces a person's risk of developing this serious condition, which is why general dentistry practices strongly advise against smoking tobacco. 

4. Stains teeth

When a person smokes, tar is deposited on their teeth. The buildup of tar on the surfaces of teeth gives them a yellow color. Fortunately, stains caused by smoking respond to teeth whitening treatments, however, over-time, the stains can become permanent or hard to remove. 

5. Bad breath

Smoking leads to bad breath as it dries out the mouth, which can also cause serious problems. General dentistry includes treatment of dry mouth, however, cavities and gum disease are much more likely as a result.

Advice for smokers

While general dentistry offices recommend not smoking at all, there are some things smokers can do to reduce the effects of tobacco on their teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene helps to keep teeth healthy, and regular visits to a dentist allow them to detect any problems that develop in their early stages.

Consult with a general dentistry practice

Call or visit our Baltimore clinic to learn more about how tobacco damages your teeth and the treatments we can use to combat its effects.

Request an appointment here: https://www.perkinsdentalbaltimore.com or call Perkins Dental Care at (410) 789-0551 for an appointment in our Baltimore office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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