Smoking and Your Teeth
Smoking has countless ill effects on your health. Thanks to life-threatening and complex diseases associated with smoking, tobacco’s effect on your teeth and mouth are often overshadowed. However, tobacco use does more to your teeth than just cause them to change color. Learn more about smoking and your teeth with help from your Huntersville, NC dentist.
What does smoking do to my teeth?
Smoking’s most obvious effect on your teeth is the staining and yellowing it causes. Additionally, tobacco’s scent causes bad breath. Smoking weakens the body’s immune system, making it more difficult to heal wounds and ward off infection. These weaknesses give smokers twice the risk of gum disease, which is a leading cause of tooth loss, than non-smokers. Cigars and pipes have just as much risk as cigarettes.
Is using smokeless tobacco safer than smoking?
Though smokeless tobacco may seem safer due to its lack of smoke, that is simply not the case. Smokeless tobacco users have 50 times the risk of non-users to develop mouth cancer and about four times the risk of tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, giving it a higher chance of addiction. Finally, smokeless tobacco rests against the gums, eroding the tissue until the teeth’s roots are exposed, causing further complications, such as tooth sensitivity, to your oral health.
How can my Huntersville dentist help?
In addition to your dentist’s expertise on the effects of smoking on your teeth, there are countless options available to help you quit smoking. Over-the-counter nicotine gums and patches help you wean off of your nicotine addiction to quit smoking. Prescription medications are also available to help you quit. Support groups give you the resources you need to quit for good. Your dentist can work with you to determine which quitting option is best for you.
For more information on kicking your smoking habit, please contact Dr. Michael Wing DDS at Birkdale Dental in Huntersville, NC. Call (704) 997-8280 to speak with an associate about scheduling a regular examination and cleaning today!