If you’re determined to quit smoking this spring and summer, you’re on a great path to not just improved overall health, but improved oral health, too! Quitting smoking helps you have a brighter smile, fresher breath, and most importantly, decreased risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. Because of these things, you’ll also likely experience higher self-esteem, too! Below are some ways giving up smoking helps your teeth, as shared by our Statesville dentist.
Tobacco products contain tar and nicotine which can cause teeth to become yellow and even brown. The more you smoke, the worse the discoloration will become. Once you quit smoking, though, you can take advantage of one of our many professional tooth whitening options, and rest assured that the results will last.
Smokers are three to six times more likely to develop gum disease and its progression, periodontal disease. There are two main reasons for this: firstly, chemicals in tobacco products inhibit the mouth’s saliva production, making it easier for oral bacteria to propagate. And secondly, it interferes with blood circulation and lowers the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, which makes it difficult for the body to fight off infections. More bacteria, in combination with a weaker immune system, lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. If you quit smoking, your teeth will no longer be at such high risk!
Tobacco use exposes your mouth to carcinogenic chemicals, drastically increasing your risk of developing oral cancer. It is estimated that about 90% of people diagnosed with mouth, throat, or lip cancers are current or former tobacco users. Even more troublingly, about 40% of people diagnosed with oral cancer die from it within 5 years of diagnosis. Quitting smoking drastically decreases your chance of contracting this dangerous disease.
If you are a smoker, it is important to visit a dentist even more often than nonsmokers do, because you are at such a high risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Our Statesville dentist can examine your mouth and throat for cancer symptoms, and clean away plaque and tartar that will build up due to a weakened immune system.
While we can’t help you much when it comes to quitting smoking, we can keep you as healthy and safe as possible as you undertake your journey! And, once you’ve said goodbye to tobacco for good, our cosmetic dental services can help restore your smile to its former fullness and brightness. To schedule an appointment, please contact our Statesville dentist office here.