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Your smile says a lot about you. It’s one of the first things that people notice when you approach them or see your picture online.
If you’ve spent part of your life smoking, your teeth aren’t going to look their best — and worse yet, smoking puts the health of your teeth (and your overall health) at risk.
Dark stains change the enamel’s appearance, and nicotine use increases your chances of gum disease. Because of this, the smoking habit may cause you to cover your mouth while laughing and talking as a way to hide the damage.
Think about how much better you would feel by kicking a habit that no longer serves you. For one, you will stop doing damage to your teeth and gums in the process.
Quitting smoking also lessens your risk for oral cancer, which can be fatal.
What Are the Risk Factors That Come With Smoking Cigarettes?
In addition to the cosmetic effects nicotine has on the teeth and gums, there are also dangerous carcinogens that take their toll on your mouth and body.
Smoking is a leading cause for gum disease as it reduces blood flow to the gums. As smoking interferes with your immune system, you will be unable to fight off a gum infection as well as a non-smoker with a stronger immune system. This leads to the worsening of gum disease and puts you at risk for tooth loss and the need for additional dental treatment.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Smoking is one of the most common causes of moderate to severe gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Nicotine use tends to contribute to bacteria growth in the mouth. When this bacteria is not removed with proper at-home oral hygiene and regular in-office dental cleanings, it can turn into plaque, which can eventually become gum disease.
While the earliest stages of gum disease may be treated with deep cleanings, more advanced stages of gum disease require more significant treatment, including surgery.
Smoking and Oral Cancer
Your risk for oral cancer increases with every cigarette that you smoke. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 80 percent of patients with oral cancers use nicotine. If you are a smoker, it is essential that you undergo oral cancer screenings with your dentist and never ignore signs of a problem, such as a sore, lumps, discolored patch, or ulcer.
How Can Dental Cleanings Help?
While dental cleanings are important for all adults (and children), they are particularly important for smokers and other nicotine users (including vaping).
Regular cleanings help to reduce the bacteria, plaque, and tartar on the teeth that result from smoking. Additionally, cleanings help to reduce swelling and puffy gums that are a result of smoking.
It is recommended that smokers undergo a professional in-office cleaning every four to six months.
Give Your Smile a Much Needed Upgrade
Contact Gum Dental Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to set up your appointment today. If you are ready to show your pearly whites to the world once again, call 610-746-0488 or fill out our online contact form right away.