Smoking can be incredibly damaging to your overall oral health. It can lead to various dental problems, as well as stain your teeth, leaving them looking discolored.
Here are a few of the primary ways that smoking can threaten the delicate ecosystem of your mouth:
Increases Risk of Gum Disease
Smoking can significantly increase the risk of gum disease, as it is conducive to the growth of bacteria in your mouth and the destruction of tissue. Gum disease can result in the loss of teeth, forced tooth extraction, and damage to the gum tissue.
Contributes to Plaque and Discolors Teeth
Smoking can stain your teeth and make them dull, brown, and yellow. This is because it damages the external enamel around your pearly whites. It also increases the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth.
Plaque is a sort of film that forms on the teeth and can be visibly noticeable and cause bad breath. Tartar is the built-up gunk and bacteria that collect within your mouth when plaque has not been cleaned off the teeth. This can lead to gum disease and receding gums.
Increases the Risk of Developing Oral Cancer
Smoking can increase the risk of developing oral cancer, which can be very painful and result in severe complications. Treatment is usually radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The first signs of oral cancer present as a lump or sore inside the mouth that causes pain and does not heal.
Salivary Gland Inflammation
Smoking can lead to salivary gland inflammation and potential infection. This leads to pain, redness around the mouth, swelling, tenderness, and puss. An infection will need to be treated with antibiotics and can be painful and damaging to the mouth.
Delayed Healing From Oral Surgery
Smoking can also reduce the success rate of certain types of dental surgery and delay the healing process of others. It lowers the success rate of dental implant procedures which can lead to pain and infection. It also can increase the risk of complications and delay the healing process after oral surgery or tooth extraction.
Smoking can be devastating for your teeth and is not worth the numerous ailments and symptoms that result from it. Without smoking and the use of tobacco products, your general oral health will be in much better shape. Your chance of complications associated with many conditions will deplete significantly, and your teeth will look and feel much healthier.