If you smoke then you probably already know you are doing untold damage to your general health, but do you fully realize the damage being done to your dental health? With New Year just around the corner, it is a great time to think about finally quitting for good. Read on to find out why you should stop smoking.
1. Smokers Breath
It is easy to spot a smoker as soon as you begin talking to them. Even if it has been quite some time since you had your last cigarette, smoke particles will still linger and breath mints definitely don’t cover it up.
2. Yellow and Stained Teeth
Smoking can cause your teeth to turn yellow after just a very short while. Heavy smokers may find their teeth have gone almost brown after many years of smoking. The nicotine also makes it easier for plaque to stick to your teeth and plaque can soon harden into a substance called tartar.
3. Gum Disease
The problem with tartar is that it increases your risk of gum disease, a bacterial infection which can cause tooth loss. What’s even worse is that nicotine makes it harder for smokers to fight infection as it narrows the capillaries carrying blood and nutrients to the gums.
4. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is called xerostomia, where not enough saliva is produced to keep the mouth clean, moist and comfortable. Smoking can aggravate this condition and increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
5. Smoking Irritates the Tissues in Your Mouth
Constantly breathing in hot smoke can irritate the soft tissues inside your mouth, potentially causing a condition called leukoplakia that creates white or grey patches on your tongue, cheeks or on the floor of the mouth. What’s even worse is that leukoplakia can be a precursor for mouth cancer.
6. Mouth Cancer
Even if you aren’t concerned about any of the other problems caused by smoking, it’s worth getting worried about this one. Smoking is a well-known cause of cancer and your mouth is the point of entry. Cigarettes contain many dangerous chemicals and smoking can damage cells in the mouth, potentially turning them cancerous. We do provide regular oral cancer screenings here at Midtown Dentistry, but why take the risk when you could quit for good?