How Does Tobacco Use Affect Your Teeth and Gums?

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Smoking or using tobacco products can negatively affect your body, including your oral health. Smokers are three times more likely to develop gum or periodontal disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. The signs of tobacco use affecting your teeth are chronic bad breath, stained tooth enamel, and receding gums. However, a more severe problem is oral cancer, which can be harder to detect. Read on to learn more from our dental team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA about how quitting is not only good for your health but also your mouth.

The dangers of using tobacco products

It is no secret that smoking and chewing tobacco can be challenging to stop. It also wreaks havoc on your overall health. About one in every five adults in the United States smokes cigarettes or chews tobacco. It is the number one cause of preventable disease in this country. Chewing tobacco, smoking, even smokeless tobacco products can cause serious health problems. Issues linked to tobacco use include:

  • Different types of cancer, like throat, esophagus, mouth, cheek, gum, lip, and tongue
  • Addiction
  • Heart disease
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities

Does smoking damage your teeth?

Unfortunately, the longer you smoke, the more damage you will likely incur to your oral health. Tooth loss may be one of the adverse oral health effects of smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products. Smokers are more likely to develop plaque and tartar on their teeth than nonsmokers, leading to periodontal disease. That doesn't mean stopping will reverse the impact tobacco use has on your mouth, but quitting does put an end to continuing harm. Read on to learn more about how smoking can harm your teeth and gums from our team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County.

1. Tooth discoloration

Smoking and chewing tobacco can stain teeth and cause bad breath. Yellowish discoloration from smoking is a common side effect, and a person's pearly whites can change color quickly. The more a person smokes, the more brown or yellow their teeth will become.

2. Periodontal disease

Smokers and tobacco users are more likely to develop periodontal disease than nonsmokers. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection that impacts a person's gums. Swollen gums that bleed when brushing and flossing are some of the first signs of this oral disease. However, tooth loss can become a problem for State College, PA patients when left untreated and they continue to smoke or chew tobacco.

3. Bone loss

Gum disease, in the early stages, can often be reversed when patients seek treatment, but tobacco use and smoking can lead to the problem becoming worse. The bacterial infection can spread to bone and gum tissue, which will become weaker. Over time, bone loss can occur, eventually requiring surgical intervention to repair any damage.

4. Poor blood circulation

Smoking not only puts people more at risk of oral cancers, like throat or tongue cancer, but it also interferes with proper blood circulation, affecting the normal function of gum tissue. It delays healing after oral surgery for tooth extractions, dental implants, or treatment of periodontal disease by restricting blood flow and delaying the healing process.

Contact us to learn more about smoking and teeth health

Are you ready to kick the habit and restore your oral health? You don't have to do it alone. Thousands of people quit every year. Get the help you need to quit smoking and protect your teeth and gums. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA, we provide preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry treatments to assist you with your dental care needs. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact one of our team members today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.