We all have bad habits, though some do more harm for our health than others. Unfortunately, using cigarettes and tobacco is one of the most common unhealthy habits worldwide. And this fixation isn’t just bad for your lungs—it can wreak havoc on your teeth. Here’s how!
The Damage Done
Because smoking limits your mouth’s ability to fight infections, the bacteria left behind by cigarettes can leave your teeth helpless against plaque build-up and tooth discoloration, also known as tobacco stains. Even if you practice good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing each day, most smokers still find bad breath to be an issue.
Repetitive tobacco use also increases your chances of developing:
- Gum disease
- Oral cancers
- Tooth decay
Heavy tobacco use can also pose concerns for patients needing restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments like root canals or crowns as gum recession tends to cause uneven margins.
Kicking The Habit
If you’re a habitual smoker, it’s never too late to quit. Start by setting a “quit date” as it can take some mental preparation. Be sure to seek out support from your family and friends. When the urge to smoke comes up, find a behavioral distraction (like brushing your teeth) instead of reaching for a cigarette. Your teeth (and body) will thank you!
Just like non-smoking patients, tobacco users should be sure to visit our practice for routine dental cleans and checkups to make sure your mouth remains as healthy as possible. If it’s been a while since your last visit, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.