Most people clearly understand that smoking is something that poses major health risks, but smoking does not only pose major risks to a person's health. It also poses risks to a person's oral health, and here are the main effects smoking can have on a person's oral health.
It discolors the teeth
The first effect smoking has on a person's oral health involves discoloration of the teeth. Exposing your teeth to nicotine, tar, and many other contaminants each day will cause you to lose the whiteness and brightness of your teeth. The ingredients in cigarettes stain teeth easily, and it is almost impossible to keep white teeth if you smoke because of this.
It increases risks of cavities and gum disease
When you smoke, you also have an increased risk of cavities and gum disease, and this occurs for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that smoking restricts the oxygen level to your mouth. With a decrease in oxygen, your mouth is more prone to infections. Secondly, smoking causes dryness in the mouth. When your mouth is dry, it means that there is not enough saliva in it to wash away the bacteria on your teeth. Dry mouth also causes bad breath. The result of these things is an increased risk of developing problems with your teeth, such as cavities and gum disease.
It increases tooth sensitivity
Smoking also leads to enamel erosion, which is the wearing away of enamel from your teeth, and it leads to receding gums. Both of these problems cause tooth sensitivity due to the exposure of inner layers of teeth and roots due to the gum lines receding downwards. When the gums recede, they allow the nerves to be exposed, and this is something that will cause you to feel twinges of pain when eating hot and cold things.
It increases the risk of oral cancer
There are so many different types of chemicals in a cigarette and exposing your mouth to these on a daily basis highly increases your chances of developing oral cancer. During a routine examination, your dentist will look closely for signs of oral cancer if you are a smoker, and some of the signs include bumps, sores, and irregular patches of tissue.
Smoking can negatively affect your teeth and oral health, and this is the main reason dentists encourage patients to quit. If you have questions about this or anything else related to your oral health, contact a dentist today. If you would like to learn more about whitening your teeth, contact a cosmetic dentist.