Dental Blog

Tobacco Products Damage Your Teeth and Gums

Nobody who has a mouth should smoke cigarettes, nor should they use any other type of tobacco products, such as cigars and smokeless tobacco.  Smoking is the number one preventable cause of heart disease and cancer.  It’s also linked to cardio-pulmonary conditions such as asthma.   Moreover, smoking harms your teeth throat, tongue, and gums.

Smoking Damages Your Teeth and Gums

Smoking damages organs throughout the body, and it’s particularly detrimental to your teeth and gums.  In fact, smoking has been proven to cause all of the following conditions.

  • oral cancer
  • bad breath
  • periodontal disease
  • increased plaque and tartar buildup on teeth
  • stained teeth
  • a diminished sense of taste and smell
  • decreased bone matter in jaw
  • delayed healing and additional complications after oral surgery
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • tooth loss
  • dry mouth

Smoking Causes Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grows in the plaque and tartar that affixes to your teeth.  Plaque is the sticky film that forms on your teeth after you eat a meal.  If plaque is allowed to harden, it becomes tartar, the rough substance that adheres to the back and sides of your teeth.

Gum disease effects almost half of Americans over 30.  This is particularly unfortunate, especially because gum disease is largely preventable.  You can significantly reduce your chances of getting gum disease by avoiding tobacco products, visiting your dentist regularly, and practicing a daily regimen of good oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing regularly.

The oxygen in your bloodstream helps your body fight plaque and tartar.  However, nicotine in cigarettes causes a reduction in the oxygen delivered to your mouth.  That’s why smokers are 64.2 percent more likely to contract gum disease than non-smokers. In fact, over 40 percent of all gum disease in the United States has been attributed to smoking.

Signs You Have Gum Disease

When you don’t work to actively combat it, gum disease can wreak havoc on your smile.  If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, you might already be suffering from gum disease:

  • Loose teeth
  • Chewing causes pain
  • Brushing is painful
  • Teeth no longer fit together when you bite down
  • Brushing causes bleeding
  • Bad breath
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Gums are red and swollen

Tobacco and Oral Health

Like cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco can be devastating for your health.  Even if you don’t inhale them, cigars increase your risk for oral cancer, stained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.

The Hazards of Smokeless Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco, also known as dip or chewing tobacco, contains a variety of toxins associated with cancer.   This can lead to disastrous consequences for your mouth.  Smokeless tobacco has been proven to cause cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, and pancreas.  Recent research also suggests a connection between smokeless tobacco and cancers of the larynx, esophagus, bladder, and colon.

Help for People Who Want to Quit Smoking

It’s not easy to quit smoking.  In fact, most smokers say they have tried to quit but can’t.  Fortunately, there’s a lot of people out there who are ready to help you.  If you’re trying to quit smoking, we recommend that you contact the American Lung Association.  They can help connect you to the resources you need to finally kick the habit.  Good luck!

Contact Dr. Huff for a Checkup Today

Avoiding tobacco products is a great way to protect your smile.  Practicing healthy dental hygiene at home and getting regular dental checkups are two more things you can do to ensure that your teeth last a lifetime.   Why not contact us at Precision Dentistry and Implants in Kerrville to make the appointment today?

Precision Dentistry & Implants

321 W Water St. Suite 115
Kerrville, TX 78028

Office Hours

Mon – Thu
8am – 5pm
8am – 12pm