Smoking can have many side effects for your mouth, some of which are listed below:
- Discoloured teeth
- Bad breath
- Openings of the salivary gland becoming inflamed
- Greater risk of gum disease
- Build-up of tartar and plaque
- Greater risk or oral cancer
- Longer healing process after dental treatments such as tooth extraction
- Potential loss of bone in the jaw
Smoking or using other products containing tobacco as they can affect the cells in your gum tissue increases the risk of gum disease. If these cells do not function properly, the tissue may not be well attached to the bone. This means that people who smoke are at greater risk of periodontal disease and other infections. The same effect can also restrict the blood flow into the gums, which can cause delays in any wounds healing.
Cigars and Pipes
As well as cigarettes, cigars and pipes can also cause dental problems. Studies have shown that tooth loss and loss of bone in the jawbone anchoring the teeth are experienced at the same rate for cigarette smokers and cigar smokers. The risk of tooth loss is similar for pipe smokers as well. In addition to these problems, cigar and pipe smokers are at risk of developing oral or throat cancer, even though they do not inhale. Other effects can include staining to teeth, bad breath and a greater chance of developing gum disease.
Other Tobacco Products
Even though they are smokeless, products such as chewing tobacco and snuff contain chemicals that lead to increased risks of developing throat or oral cancer. There is actually a higher level of nicotine in chewing tobacco than is found in cigarettes, so that it is more difficult to quit. A can of snuff, meanwhile, contains more nicotine than 60 cigarettes.
The main issue with smokeless tobacco is that it causes irritation in the gum tissue, which can then start to pull away from the teeth or recede. If tissue in the gums starts to recede, the roots of the teeth are left exposed and the potential for tooth decay to develop is increased. Roots that are exposed will also have an increased level of sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as any other irritants. This can cause problems when you eat and drink.
Studies have shown that people who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to develop tooth decay. It often contains added sugar as a way of enhancing the flavour, which leads to an increased danger of tooth decay. It can also contain grit and sand, which has the potential to wear the teeth down.
Anna Hewitt is an experienced writer who is an expert on dental health. She wrote this article on behalf of www.britishdentistry.org.uk