Will smoking affect my teeth? The short answer is……..YES!!!
How badly will it affect them?
Well, which smile would you like to have? The first one or the second one? It is very easy to see some of the detrimental effects of smoking on your teeth.
We all know that smoking is bad for our health, so it shouldn’t surprise us either that smoking (cigarettes, cigars or pipe) and chewing tobacco is also bad for us.
Never mind that socially these days, smoking in public is more or less unacceptable here in the US with many States now having prohibited smoking in public spaces, we now have a more thorough understanding of the way smoking affects not just our own bodies but those of the people around us.
Dental health impacts of smoking and using tobacco products include:
- stained teeth and tongue
- increase of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- bad breath
- your sense of taste and smell may be dulled
- healing after tooth extraction or other surgery may be slower
- gum disease
- oral cancer
Note that, this list is not ALL that can happen, it is just a list of some of the things that can happen if you are a smoker or user of tobacco. Admittedly, there are other reasons you may suffer from some of these symptoms, but smoking will, at the very least, exaggerate them.
Smoking leads to gum disease because it interferes with the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. It actually interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells and leads to smokers being more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease.
Whether you smoke pipe, cigar or cigarettes you can have tooth and bone loss at a similar rate. Even if you don’t inhale and incur the additional medical health issues of the lungs, you still are at risk for oral and throat cancers and other consequences such as stained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.
Unfortunately, trying to go the smokeless route is not any better as smokeless tobacco products, including snuff and chewing tobacco, contain at least 28 chemicals that have been show in studies to increase the risk of oral and throat cancer. surprisingly, chewing tobacco contains a higher levels of nicotine that cigarettes and a can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes!!! As well as the harmful chemicals in the smokeless products, there may also be added sugar for taste which as we all already know contributes to tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
So – now that you have even more information on WHY you should quit, your questions might now be….HOW do I quit?
There are many programs out there to help people who want to quit and who just can’t sumon up the will power to do it by themselves. Firstly, don’t be disappointed if you’re not successful at quitting by yourself. Tobacco products contain many addictive elements, so making it harder to withdraw easily from the habit.
Here in Michigan you can call the above number or go online at Michigan.Gov to find information on smoking cessation program, contact them at; http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2940_2955_2973_53244—,00.html