Why do you brush your teeth? Because you want them to be clean of anything that could cause discoloration and decay? Because you want to have fresh breath and a white smile? If those statements are true, then can you explain why you or anyone else might expose their teeth to something that has exactly the opposite effect of brushing?
If you are a smoker, you are placing your teeth under attack every time you light up:
- The growth of plaque producing material increases if you smoke cigarettes, and that causes your teeth to turn yellow.
- The bacteria living in the plaque cause your breath to smell foul.
- Due to the fast accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, your gums may recede, your teeth may crumble, and your bone below the gum can be damaged. As a result of all of this, you may even lose teeth.
- Smoking can cause mouth lesions and oral cancer.
How to protect your teeth if you smoke:
- Quit smoking! Think about the chemicals you are subjecting your body and teeth to every day. These chemicals include: nicotine, chloroform, butane, ammonia, carbon monoxide, lead, arsenic, cyanide, lead, acetone, and chloroform. All of the ingredients in cigarettes are poisonous. Why would you want to poison your body or your teeth?
- If you can't quit, cut back! Research has found that people who smoke a pack and half per day are more likely to suffer from periodontal problems than non-smokers, while those who smoke just half a pack a day are less likely to suffer from such problems compared to those who smoke more.
- Practice good dental hygiene: brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily. Don't wait until you notice dental problems to visit your dentist, but make regular appointments so you can catch and treat problems before they are irreversible.
Many smokers have to spend thousands of dollars on dental implants to replace teeth lost to their habit. In the best case scenario, you still may need to have your stained teeth whitened or capped, your damaged gums treated with surgery, and a few missing teeth replaced with false teeth and a bridge. All tobacco products will damage your teeth, and will eventually contribute to other health problems such as heart disease.
Your best bet is to follow suggestion number one, and just quit smoking while you still have some or all of your teeth. To learn more, contact a company such as North Ridge Dental Clinic with any questions or concerns you have.