Although most anti-tobacco ads today warn teens against the dangers of e-cigarettes and overall smoking rates are down, it’s still important to understand the dangers of smoking. The old “Real Cost” campaign was aimed at trying to keep teens from starting smoking. It also served as a reminder of the damaging effects of smoking on your smile. If you’ve been smoking for a while, you likely already know these effects firsthand. You may even think that there’s no point in quitting smoking because the damage has already been done.
However, it’s never too late to put the damage occurring to your oral health and overall health to a halt. Make quitting smoking your New Year’s Resolution for 2021. Once you quit smoking, our Rockland County dentist can repair the damage to your teeth so that even a longtime smoker can have a beautiful, healthy smile again.
How Smoking Affects Your Teeth and Oral Health
Smoking not only worsens sleep apnea, but it can also really make your smile unattractive and unhealthy. Remember, the teeth in your mouth are the only natural teeth you get in life. If something happens to them, you have to spend a pretty penny on dental work to fix or replace them. Here are a few ways smoking affects your tooth appearance and oral health.
One of the first effects you will notice is the staining. Staining from smoking is also worse because it is concentrated in a certain area of your teeth, which makes it stand out even more. Stains from smoking can penetrate deep in the tooth and can’t be removed with brushing alone. Most smokers have teeth that look yellow. Over time, they might even turn brown from all the chemicals.
Cavities and Gum Disease
All the chemicals in cigarettes don’t just harm the appearance of your teeth, they can also damage the health. The same chemicals that stain your teeth also affect your gums. Eventually, your gums will become inflamed. Tarter will also build up on your teeth and along the gum line which can further contribute to gum disease. As gum disease progresses, your gums will start to recede and reveal your tooth root which can cause tooth sensitivity.
Another way smoking affects your oral health is by causing dry mouth. When you don’t salivate, as usual, you don’t wash away bacteria from your mouth. This can contribute to plaque and tartar building up on your teeth which can cause cavities.
Without treatment for gum disease and cavities and quitting smoking, it can result in tooth loss.
Due to cavities and gum disease, research shows that, compared to nonsmokers of comparable age, smokers are likely to lose one to two more teeth over a 10-year period.
Fortunately, research also supports that if you stop smoking, your risks of tooth loss will go down. If you’re still smoking, quit now and you might be able to preserve your teeth!
Repairing the Damage of Smoking
If there’s already damage to your teeth, don’t let this stop you from quitting smoking. You can stop the damage from progressing and with our dentist’s help, we can repair the damage and you can regain a beautiful and healthy smile. Here are a few ways we can help repair the damage from smoking.
Removing Stains From Smoking
The good news is that a cosmetic dentist has the power to fix the damage done by smoking. Teeth whitening can be used to improve the appearance of stained teeth, but it may have limited effectiveness if you’re a long-time smoker. Instead, porcelain veneers can be used to make your smile as white as you want it.