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How Does Smoking Affect Oral Health?

Did you know that 14 out of every 100 American adults smoke? Although almost everyone is aware that smoking is bad for their health, only a few realize how much damage this habit can do to their teeth, gums, and mouth. For this reason, the best dentist in Morton, IL, encourages everyone who lights up to drop the cigarette and save their teeth.  

man smoking a cigarette despite recommendations of the best dentist in Morton, IL, against it

What Smoking Does to Your Oral Health

It Promotes Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Saliva helps keep your mouth clean by washing away food particles and debris from the surface of your teeth. Since tobacco products contain chemicals that significantly reduce saliva flow in your mouth, smoking creates an ideal environment for oral bacteria to thrive in. As you smoke, a sticky film of bacteria-laden plaque builds up on your teeth and along your gum line.  

Unless you’re diligent with your daily oral hygiene habits, plaque will eventually harden into calculus, also known as tartar. While eliminating plaque is possible with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing, these oral hygiene practices won’t be enough to remove tartar. Your dentist is the only person who can get rid of it via professional dental cleaning.  

Dental Discoloration

The enamel covering your teeth acts like a porcelain finish with tiny cracks. With age and use, these cracks will eventually absorb anything you put in your mouth. Each time you smoke a cigarette, the tar and nicotine in it seep into these cracks and make your teeth look yellow in a very short time.

Unfortunately, no amount of brushing, flossing, or rinsing with mouthwash can prevent these substances from becoming a fixture in your enamel. For this reason, you can’t expect to maintain naturally white teeth if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. It’s even possible for teeth to turn brown after years of smoking.

Smoking is worth cutting out completely if you’re looking to have a bright white smile. Besides kicking the habit, you’ll also want to see your dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings and teeth whitening treatments.

It Slows Down Your Body’s Ability to Heal

Since smoking restricts blood flow and distorts your immune system, it’s best to avoid it after oral surgery for dental implants, treatment for gum disease, or tooth extraction. Besides reducing your body’s capacity for wound repair, smoking increases the risk of infection at the wound site. Unless you’re willing to run the risk of going through a long and difficult recovery process, it’s best to quit smoking.

It Causes Bad Breath

Cigarette smoke creates a stale scent that lingers in your throat and lungs. Additionally, it leaves chemical compounds in your mouth that produce an unpleasant odor when mixed with your saliva. Although maintaining proper oral hygiene can help you tackle the breath issue, the best way to get rid of cigarette breath is to not smoke.

It Increases the Risk of Oral Cancer

All forms of tobacco increase the risk of most oral cancers. Around 90% of those diagnosed with cancer of the throat, lips, or mouth used tobacco. Additionally, chronic smokers are 10 times more likely to develop oral cancers than non-smokers.  

cigarettes being destroyed as advised by the best dentist in Morton, IL

Looking for the Best Dentist in Morton, IL?

At Morton Dental Center, we take a one-on-one approach to dentistry as we deliver the highest standard of care. Make an appointment with us today to see what sets us apart from other practices around.