Smoking Out Your Smile
The renowned dentists at Executive Dentistry in Dearborn, MI see regularly the devastating effects of smoking on oral health. Head dentist, Dr. Kalil Abraham, says that many of his patients who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products present discolored teeth, receding gums, and symptoms of oral cancer.
At Executive Dentistry’s state-of-the-art facility, Dr. Abraham and his expert team employ the latest dental technology to restore damaged smiles. However, he always advises patients that preventing dental issues via smoking cessation is far easier than the repairs and treatment needed afterward. Learn more by calling our Dearborn office by dialing (313) 914-4440.
Main Effects of Smoking on Oral Health
Stained Teeth and Bad Breath
Tar and nicotine from smoking can become embedded in tooth enamel over time, leading to yellowing and discoloration of teeth. The chemicals also cause noxious breath odors that brushing, flossing, and mouthwash cannot eliminate. Smokers are prone to permanent tobacco-stained teeth and unrelenting bad breath.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Smoking affects your oral health by restricting blood flow and changing the balance of bacteria in your mouth. This leads to inflammation and degradation of the gums holding your teeth in place. Gum disease is six times more prevalent among smokers. Without treatment, receding inflamed gums can progressively loosen teeth, even causing them to fall out.
Higher Rates of Oral Cancer
Of the thousands of toxins in tobacco smoke, over 60 are known to have carcinogenic effects. These chemicals accumulate in the cells of mouth tissue, causing mutations in DNA that lead to malignant oral cancers.
Other Potential Effects of Smoking
- Delayed Healing After Dental Procedures: The restricted blood flow caused by smoking impairs and delays the healing of mouth tissue from injuries or dental surgery. Dry sockets and infections are more common complications after procedures.
- Masking Other Dental Issues: Long-term smokers often experience a blunted sensitivity to pain stimuli. This means serious dental problems can go unnoticed, worsening underlying issues.
- Higher Levels of Dental Plaque: Studies show tobacco smoke alters the pH balance of saliva, making smokers more prone to plaque accumulation and triggering tooth decay.
Quitting Smoking for Better Oral Health
While long-term smoking damage cannot be reversed, quitting leads to rapid improvements in oral health. In as little as one month after smoking, blood flow and cell regrowth in the mouth are enhanced. After several smoke-free years, cancer risks approach that of non-smokers.
To mitigate the effects of years of tobacco use on teeth and gums, frequent professional dental cleaning and oral exams are very important for smokers aiming to quit.
Tips to Quit Smoking and Improve Oral Hygiene
- Set a Quit Date – Choose a specific date to quit, providing a clear starting point and a goal to work towards.
- Build a Support System – Inform friends and family about your decision to quit, creating a supportive network to help you through challenging times.
- Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy(NRT) – Explore options like patches or gum to manage withdrawal symptoms, consulting with a healthcare professional for guidance.
- Find Alternative Coping Mechanisms – Replace smoking with healthier habits such as exercise or engaging in activities that keep your hands and mind busy.
- Reward Yourself and Track Progress – Celebrate milestones, treat yourself with rewards, and keep a journal to monitor your progress, reinforcing your commitment to quitting.
Regain Your Oral Health – Executive Dentistry’s Team Awaits
The effects of smoking on oral health can be devastating, but it is never too late to make a change. The skilled and compassionate dentists at Executive Dentistry have helped hundreds of people improve their oral and overall health by quitting smoking. We know you can do it too.
Don’t wait another day – pick up the phone now and call (313) 914-4440 to schedule a consultation. Together we will customize a smoking cessation and oral health recovery plan that works for you. We serve new and returning patients from Dearborn and surrounding areas.