Are you looking for further incentive to quit smoking? If so, your oral health is a great place to start! Smoking can lead to a number of complications for your teeth and gums and, by quitting smoking, you can greatly improve the health and appearance of your smile. Here are just five of the reasons to quit in order to better your oral health.
Reason #1: Teeth Discoloration
You may be wondering why cigarettes are known for causing tooth discoloration. The reason is two-fold: nicotine and tar. These two chemicals found in cigarette smoke leave tough stains that can stick for years. Nicotine starts out as a colorless substance, but soon turns yellow when it comes into contact with oxygen. Tar, by contrast, maintains its black appearance that sticks in the nooks and crannies of your dental enamel. Over time, these ingredients in cigarettes dull your pearly white teeth and turn them into a yellowish-brown color.
Reason #2: Halitosis
One of the most immediate side effects you may notice as a result of smoking is the effect on your breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) can occur for a number of reasons as a result of smoking. For starters, the smoke from cigarettes tends to linger in your lungs and throat, causing an odor. Cigarettes can also inhibit your saliva production. Saliva is critical for washing away bacteria and dead cells that reside in your mouth. Without adequate saliva production, these odor-causing bacteria stick around and cause an unpleasant smell.
Reason #3: Tooth Decay
Smoking is known to increase the amount of plaque and tartar on the surface of your teeth. When the bacteria in plaque metabolizes the sugar in your foods, it then releases harmful acids onto your dental enamel. This ultimately leads to tooth decay, which can be both painful and costly to remedy if not treated promptly.
Reason #4: Loss of Taste
Did you know that smoking can permanently damage your taste buds? When you smoke, your taste receptors gradually become flatter, making them less effective. This makes it more difficult to taste your favorite foods, particularly the taste of bitter. Therefore, even your daily cup of coffee is less satisfying when you smoke cigarettes.
Reason #5: Periodontal Disease
When you smoke, your immune system becomes less effective in fighting off infection. Therefore, when harmful bacteria in plaque flourishes as a result of smoking, it also makes it easier for your gums to become infected. This infection is known as gingivitis, and it is the first stage of gum disease (periodontal disease). Unfortunately, it can also be more difficult to treat smokers for this illness as a result of their weakened immune system.
Are you looking to repair any damage that has been caused to your teeth and gums by cigarettes? We can help! Simply call Countryside Dental Group to schedule your next appointment! We’ll perform an oral exam, provide a professional cleaning, and bring your teeth back into good health.