Well did you know that smokers are up to six times more vulnerable to gum disease than non-smokers. If you thought that smoking’s main effect was the staining of your teeth, please read on. The tobacco in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes contains over 4,000 harmful chemicals.
Below are some effects of smoking;
• Oral and lung cancer
The worst outcome from smoking is cancer and although oral cancer is not as common as lung cancer, it is nevertheless very harmful. Smokers should remember that if they are lucky enough to avoid cancer, they nevertheless will suffer from many other deleterious effects of smoking.
• Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease), the gum diseases are silent killers of your teeth it leads to tooth loss, it is extremely common in smokers.
Many treatments for this condition are unsuccessful because the poisons from the tobacco weaken the body’s immune system, thereby decreasing the healing process to the point that many surgeons will avoid extensive treatments on these individuals.
Gum disease is initiated by a buildup of bacteria in plaque, the sticky white substance that accumulates on the teeth if they are not properly cleaned. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed, and they begin to recede from the teeth.
• Tooth erosion
Furthermore, smokers will accumulate more tar turning teeth yellow by leaving sticky tar deposits which can also cause brown stains thereby requiring more extensive cleanings, which are often painful since the exposed roots (caused by the gum disease) are sensitive.
• Bad breath
Smokers inevitably have bad breath from the tobacco itself and secondarily from the gum disease. They often try to mask this with lozenges, mouth-washes, chewing gum, candies or breath mints. Over time this habit causes decay and/or tooth erosion.
• Poor healing
Smokers are also poor healers, because it depresses the ability of the immune system to fight infection, this being witnessed by the high incidence of dry-socket infections
• Dry socket infections
Following tooth removals, anyone who has experienced a dry- socket will understand the frustration and suffering experienced from this practically untreatable condition.
• Hairy tongue
Often seen in smokers is a hairy tongue which is very unappealing. This condition is caused by an overgrowth of the tiny projections on the tongue’s surface. Germs, bacteria, and food debris usually accumulate thereby causing bad breath.
• Reduced taste
Furthermore smoker’s have a significant reduction in their ability to taste food, often compensated by an increase salting and spicing of their diet.
• Smoker’s face
when an individual unfortunately smokes for many years, he or she usually develops what is called smoker’s face. Many physicians and dentists recognize this look from a distance. The face wrinkles prematurely around the mouth, eyes and neck, simply from the continuous act of inhaling.
In addition, their skin lacks blood flow, resulting in a pale, unhealthy appearance.
If you are a chain smoker, it’s very important that you ask your dentist to evaluate the effect it has had on your oral cavity.