The anti-smoking awareness campaigns have primarily emphasized the carcinogenic effects of smoking on the lungs over the decades. Does Smoking Ruin Teeth, however, smoking is equally damaging to other body organs, including your mouth. A burning cigarette has more than 7000 chemicals. SEVEN THOUSAND! Yes, you read that right. You can only imagine the number of toxins that enter your body when you smoke this tobacco-filled stick. However, your mouth being the entry point for these toxins, suffers in more ways than one because of smoking. So, let’s delve deeper into why smoking is a curse for your dental health.

Mars the esthetics of your teeth

In popular culture, smoking has been a symbol of style, seduction, and nonchalance. But, in real life, it only shows nonchalance toward your dental health and overall well-being. And style and seduction are sure to lose the battle against tooth discoloration and bad breath resulting from smoking regularly. Oh! So, do you think chewing gums and mouth fresheners will help you get rid of cigarette breath? Well! Only temporarily. Also, no amount of teeth whitening can help if you do not quit smoking. The yellow film and stains redevelop over time when you start smoking after a teeth whitening treatment.

Causes tooth decay

Smoking creates plaque and tartar and supports bacterial growth in the mouth. The chemicals in tobacco products decrease saliva flow, making the mouth a welcoming space for oral bacteria that stick to gums and teeth. The plaque covers your teeth and the gum line and may harden into tartar (calculus) if not removed daily.  Note that tartar cannot be removed without professional cleaning at a dental clinic. Until the time tartar stays on your teeth, it increases bacterial attacks on your tooth, leading to caries, tooth decay, and gum irritation. When left untreated, gum diseases weaken the teeth at their roots and cause them to fall out.  Smokers are at twice the risk for gum disease than a nonsmoker. The risk for gum disease is directly proportional to the number of cigarettes and the duration of smoking. Further, dental treatments may not be fully effective for people who smoke. Smokeless tobacco products are equally harmful to your oral health and can lead to the same issues mentioned above.

Most people know that tobacco and tobacco smoke can damage the mouth. However, that knowledge primarily covers oral cancer and gum issues. Smoking also causes large cavities that cause infections and teeth breakage. Remember that repairing a broken tooth is expensive and could be painful.

Leads to bone damage

Smoking-induced gum inflammation can spread into tissue and bone and weaken them. Over time, bone damage can occur if inflammation remains untreated. Sometimes, bone damage can worsen so much that it cannot be treated without surgical intervention. Bone grafts and restorative surgery help restore gum bone health.

Periodontal Disease

Smoking changes the biome in your mouth, which increases the risk for bacteria to thrive and cause tooth decay and gum problems. When gum problems advance a stage further, it is called gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include soreness and redness in gums, bleeding, tenderness, bad breath, and gum recession. When gingivitis worsens, it develops into periodontitis, a severe gum disease. Its symptoms include gingivitis, loss of teeth, significant gum recession, and permanent bone loss in worst cases. The jaw bone tissues receive continuous stimulation from your teeth. Therefore, tooth loss because of advanced periodontal disease can also adversely affect the shape of the face. Tobacco use may lead to gingivitis progressing quickly to periodontitis. Research has also proven that smokers are more likely to develop a severe form of periodontal disease. It is better to visit a dentist at the Center for Dental Health, La Jolla, or your local dentist as soon as you notice the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis. The latter can sometimes damage your teeth irreparably.

How to quit smoking?

Limiting the consumption of tobacco products may slow the process of damage to teeth and gums. However, the possibility of oral health going for a toss is always there even when you smoke fewer times a day. Therefore, stopping smoking is the best way to restore and maintain your dental health. Will quitting smoking improve your dental health? Yes! Studies have shown that discontinuing smoking helps improve oral health profile. The following tips may help.

Get busy

Start an activity whenever your mind craves a drag. A busy mind helps regulate the urge to smoke.

Choose to accompany nonsmokers

Keep yourself away from the company of smokers. Seeing others (especially those you know) smoke may intensify your cravings. Make efforts to go to only those places where smoking is prohibited.

Find a motivation

Quitting smoking or any other bad habit is likely to be more successful when backed by a strong reason. Why do you want to quit smoking? Is it for better health, to save more money, or for your family? There could be several reasons like these. Find yours and stay true to it.

Dare to restart

If you fail at giving up on smoking, do not fret. Pick yourself up and restart. It may take an average of three months to quit smoking successfully. Be prepared to face several setbacks because of withdrawal symptoms.

Consider nicotine replacement

Contrary to their name, nicotine replacement products contain nicotine. However, they are free of many toxic chemicals and have low nicotine release. Available as patches or chewing gums, these products can help control cravings and make kicking the habit easier. However, be careful about the dosage and duration of OTC nicotine replacement products. Addiction or dependence on them could be a possibility, and that would defeat the purpose of using nicotine replacement products.

Seek therapy

If the steps above do not work for you, supplement them with behavioral therapy. Professional help can help you identify unhealthy patterns and triggers and learn better ways to cope with problems.

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