Most people realize that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but did you also know it can damage your smile? Smokers across the globe find themselves struggling with a long list of dental concerns, ranging from discolored teeth to serious oral infections. Here are three ways smoking can affect your smile and how your dentist can help after you stop the habit.
Ways Smoking Ruins Your Teeth
1. Yellows Dental Enamel
Cigarettes and cigars are comprised of more than just tobacco and paper. In fact, cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals like tar and ammonia, which leave a residue on your teeth. Stains can develop over time, making your smile look old and damaged. To remove these stains, dentists use special abrasion discs to polish and professional whitening to lift intrinsic staining.
2. Increases Your Risk Of Decay
Smoking also exposes your oral tissues to stark temperature changes, which can thicken the skin inside your mouth. Over time, the blood vessels of your mouth constrict and the salivary glands reduce their flow, making your mouth drier and less comfortable. Unfortunately, a drier mouth also causes tooth decay, since saliva neutralizes acids and rinses away particulates. If you smoke or have smoked, you may need more regular teeth cleanings at the dentist to prevent decay.
3. Causes Oral Cancer
The chemicals in cigarettes have also been shown to cause cancer, a disease that claims the lives of more than four million people a year. If you smoke, routine teeth cleanings and dental exams are crucial for catching the disease while it is in its early stages.
Stopping a bad habit can be hard, but living with deteriorating dental health is harder. Fortunately, you can improve your oral health dramatically by making a change today and meeting with your dentist. To learn more about stopping smoking and how the habit affects teeth, talk with the professionals at Timber Drive Dental in Rhinelander, WI. With a commitment to effective dentistry treatments, Dr. Paco Fralick can help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. Read more about this practice online or call (715) 365-1800 to book an appointment.