We all know smoking is bad news for your general health, but did you know it can also cause significant problems for your teeth, gums and mouth.
Here’s why you should just say no to smoking:
Nicotine is a colourless substance but it does turn yellow when combined with oxygen. After inhaling tobacco smoke, nicotine and tar linger in your mouth, and seep into the microscopic pores in your tooth enamel, causing discolouration of the teeth.
Fortunately, these stains can be removed (for example, with teeth whitening) but they will quickly come back if you keep on smoking, so it’s a good idea to give up if you want to maintain a brighter smile.
As well as affecting how your teeth look, smoking can also have an impact on how your mouth smells. Tobacco smoke can linger in the throat and lungs creating smokers’ breath. It can also dry out the mouth and lead to a proliferation of bacteria which can reduce the freshness of your breath.
Smoking can cause increased plaque formation on your teeth, which means you are at a greater risk of developing gum disease. Also, as smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, infected gums will take longer to heal.
If gum disease is left untreated it can develop into periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss. So give up for your gums (and your teeth)!
An increasingly prevalent disease, mouth cancer can develop on the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat, and the majority of cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol use.
We routinely screen for signs of oral cancer during your check-up (another good reason to see us on a regular basis) but you can help reduce your risk by cutting out tobacco.
We can help look after teeth affected by smoking and eliminate stains with cosmetic treatments, but we also offer useful advice about giving up smoking, which can help ensure the continued health and beauty of your teeth.