Tobacco is a tough habit to kick. While the number of smokers has been on the decline, if you have struggled with saying no to a smoke, you are not alone. While we know tobacco is bad for our general health, it is important to know the ways in which tobacco can tank your dental hygiene.
What does smoking do to your teeth? Here are four influences that smoking has on your smile
- Discoloring your pearly whites
One of the easiest ways to spot a smoker is by the color of their teeth. Chemicals from tobacco tend to cling to enamel, causing stains to strengthen over time. While whitening treatments or toothpastes can help, the chemicals from tobacco are strong and weary on teeth over time. While it may be possible to slow down the staining, it is impossible to reverse the damage completely.
- Smoking leaves a stink
It’s no secret that smoking comes with a smell that likes to stick around for a while. Cigarettes have particles that stick around for longer than a smoke break, making our breath smell just like it for quite a while. Along with the cigarette itself, tobacco speeds up the growth of bacteria which not only leads to tooth decay, but comes with a stinky smell of its own. Unfortunately, there are not many ways to stop the overgrowth of bacteria other than to put out the habit, however you can work with your Krengel dentist to identify which side effect of smoking is passing along the bad breath.
- Tobacco ticks off your gums
Unfortunately studies by the CDC have found that smokers are twice as likely to have gum disease than non-smokers and the more you smoke, the less likely treatments will work. Smoking lessens the mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria, allowing the chemicals to seep into your gums. Teeth can become loose, break or fall out once the bone and tissue holding the tooth begin to break down.
- Smoking harps on your healing
Smoking over a prolonged period can lead to inflammation which not only can be painful, but slows down the ability to heal. Not only does this mean that healing from procedures can be prolonged, but it can be harder for treatments to be effective when the side effects of smoking have made it harder to heal effectively. Continuing to smoke after having dental procedures will also leave the mouth in a more vulnerable state moving forward.
We hate to be the breakers of so much bad news, but the truth is, tobacco may be the reason your smile isn’t showing up as shiny and healthy as we would hope. If you are a tobacco user, contact your Krengel Dental dentist today (952-888-1311) and we will make sure to answer your questions and cater to your dental care needs.