How Does Smoking Hurt Your Teeth?
The effects of smoking on teeth have long been known to negatively impact oral health and cause potentially irreparable damage. However, despite this knowledge, an estimated 12.5% of adults in the U.S., or just over 30 million, reported smoking cigarettes in 2020 according to the CDC.
Using tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and vaping, can have detrimental effects on teeth and oral hygiene, including gum disease, delayed healing, tooth decay, tooth stains, oral cancer, tooth loss, and more.
What Does Smoking Do to Your Teeth?
You may be wondering, how does smoking make teeth yellow or cause gingivitis? Understanding how smoking negatively impacts your oral health, and not just what symptoms can occur, can help patients comprehend the risks associated with smoking.
- Tobacco Stains on Teeth – Smoking stains on teeth occur because tobacco contains nicotine and tar. These substances seep into the cracks in tooth enamel and cause discoloration. Over time, this results in yellowing, as well as nicotine and tar build-up which can contribute to cavities, tartar development, and gum disease.
- Tooth Loss – Tooth loss is more likely to occur in patients who smoke or use other tobacco products than those who don’t. This is because smokers have an increased risk of gum disease, as well as gum disease progression, and delayed healing.
- Bad Breath – Smoking has a notable odor, and not only do the molecules that cause this odor linger in the mouth for short periods after smoking, the chemical compounds left behind can also cause chronic bad breath.
- Loss of Bone Density – Smoking reduces healthy blood supply to your bones and other important parts of the body, reduces calcium absorption in your bones, and impacts your natural hormone balance. Nicotine also slows the body’s production of the cells that are responsible for forming bone tissue.
- Oral Cancer – Smoking and chewing tobacco products have long been linked to causing oral cancer.
If you’re struggling to quit and are interested in knowing how to protect your teeth from smoking until you’re able to fully step away from nicotine products, the team at DentArt Chicago is here to help.
Contact Us at DentArt Chicago Today
If you’re looking to improve your dental health and the appearance of your teeth, our dentists in Chicago’s Loop are here to help you restore your smile. Whether you have been struggling with your oral health after smoking, or you want to cover up stubborn tooth stains with help from our board certified cosmetic dentists, you can rely on our team.