What Happens to Your Smile When You Smoke?
Your Danbury dentist has information on how smoking can affect your smile.
The effects of smoking on your general health are well documented, but did you know that smoking also affects your teeth? Dr. George Landress, your Danbury, CT dentist, explains the impact that smoking has on your smile.
Your teeth become dull and discolored
The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stain your teeth and make them look yellow. After smoking for many years, your teeth may even begin to look brown. Although teeth whitening treatment can temporarily improve the appearance of your smile, if you continue to smoke, your teeth will soon become stained again.
Your cavity risk increases
Tartar buildup occurs more often in smokers. Tartar, a hard deposit that forms on your teeth, causes tooth decay and gum disease. Once tartar forms on your teeth, it can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Gum disease is more likely
Smoking can increase your risk of developing painful gum disease. Tartar buildup causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and create pockets that harbor bacteria. If gum disease isn't treated promptly, it can cause both tooth and bone loss. Treating gum disease in smokers is more difficult because smoking lengthens healing time.
Your risk of developing oral cancer is higher
Smoking doesn't just increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer, but also increases the likelihood that you'll develop cancerous tumors of your throat, mouth or larynx.
Your tooth replacement options are limited
Dental implants feel like your real teeth and offer a long-lasting tooth replacement option. Unfortunately, they're not recommended for smokers. Implants are placed in your jawbone and bond to the bone over the course of a few months. Poor bonding is more likely if you smoke. Smoking can also cause peri-implantitis, an infection that can loosen your implants. Since smokers are more likely to develop this infection, implants generally aren't a good choice.
Protect your teeth from smoking-related complications by visiting your dentist regularly. Call Dr. Landress, your Danbury, CT dentist, at (203) 743-7608 to schedule an appointment.