Unfortunately, millions of Americans have been smoking cigarettes for years. Because the nicotine found in cigarettes is highly addictive, it’s been hard for cigarette smokers to quit. However, understanding the negative long-term effects cigarettes have on the teeth and gums may help individuals make specific lifestyle changes to improve their oral health.
One obvious negative impact that cigarettes have on oral health is how bad they stain the teeth. The teeth are capable of turning yellow within a short amount of time of excessive cigarette smoking. After a few years, the teeth can also turn from yellow to brown.
Other ways that cigarettes negatively impact one’s oral health include causing halitosis, tooth decay, bone loss, oral leukoplakia, oral cancer, hairy tongue, and gum disease.
Because smoking makes the mouth more likely to produce bacterial plaque, those who smoke are more susceptible to developing gum disease than those who don’t. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen found in the bloodstream, which makes the gums unable to heal when they’re infected. For those who let their gum disease go untreated, they’re more likely to lose their teeth.
There are specific kinds of toothpaste designed for individuals who smoke cigarettes. These types of toothpastes tend to be more abrasive than regular toothpaste. Depending on an individual’s needs, a dentist may advise them to alternate between the two toothpastes. There are also various whitening toothpastes available which may help remove staining and improve the overall appearance of the teeth. There are also mouthwashes available for those who are experiencing bad breath. Unfortunately, mouthwash is a short-term solution that does not cure the root of the problem.
The only way to completely prevent one’s chances of experiencing oral complications in the future is to quit smoking cigarettes. Individuals must also quit using any other products that contain nicotine or tobacco. Even if individuals are using special toothpaste and mouthwash, their teeth are still being damaged by the constant exposure of nicotine, making all of their preventative care methods counterproductive.
Although completely giving up cigarettes may be a challenge for some, the longevity of their healthy teeth and gums depends on their willpower. Not only will individuals feel more confident with their smiles, but their overall quality of life will improve. They will also lessen their risk of developing other bodily health issues.
At McBride Dental, we truly care about the oral health of our clients, which is why we work hard to help them maintain healthy teeth and gums by providing preventative care services. Our services include X-rays, thorough examinations, deep cleanings, and more. For those who are experiencing other oral complications caused by cigarettes, such as gum disease or tooth loss, we offer gum disease treatment, dental implants, and dentures. Our office provides various services in order to tailor to each of our clients’ needs. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us at 760-471-1003.