Everyone knows smoking tobacco is bad for your health, but do you know how bad it is for your teeth and gums? Smoking can cause a lot of problems in your mouth. Here are a few of them:
- Increases the risk of gum disease by disrupting the function of cell tissues, making the gums more vulnerable to infection.
- Causes bad breath.
- Discolors the teeth and tongue with nicotine and tar.
- Increases the growth of plaque, thereby increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Dulls the senses of taste and smell.
- Slows the healing process of the gums after tooth extractions, gum disease, and surgery by limiting the blood flow to them.
- Causes loss of bone in the jaw, which can result in tooth loss.
- Creates white patches in the mouth called leukoplakia; these can become cancerous.
- Inflames the salivary glands.
- Increases the risk of oral cancer.
Smoking causes so much harm to your health, oral or otherwise. Quitting smoking is the best treatment for several of these issues. Join a support group, call a help line, or replace smoking with a healthy habit. Whatever you do to quit, make sure you follow through. Doing so can stop so many problems from developing in your mouth and your entire body.