Smoking or using any tobacco products can cause all kinds of different health problems. In some cases, there are fatal diseases. Most people are now aware of the impact that smoking has on their overall health, but many don’t realize how much smoking can damage their mouth, teeth and gums.
Changes in your teeth and breath
Smoking can cause your teeth to turn yellow and become weak, creating a breeding ground for germs and diseases. Heavy smokers have even complained that their teeth often turn brown after years of smoking. When you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products, it causes a bad odor that dries out your mouth, which makes your breath smell even worse. The drying out of your mouth is commonly known as halitosis, and it’s something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve.
Leads to gum disease or oral cancer
Gum disease usually comes about through a chain reaction of events. The tissues that support and surround your teeth are known as gingival tissue, and these are very important to the health and longevity of your teeth. Early stages of gum disease can present itself as gums that bleed when flossing or brushing, swollen and painful tissue around the teeth, bad breath or even loose teeth. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so infected gums don’t heal. Cigarettes are shown to cause about 90% of all lung cancers, according to the American Lung Association. With cigarettes containing more than 60 known cancer-causing agents, smokers are 10 times more likely to get a form of oral cancer compared to non-smokers.
Smoking can have long-term effects
Like mentioned earlier, smoking can be the leading factor in all kinds of health problems. Some things that smoking can cause are:
- Increased risk of stroke and brain damage
- Possible hearing loss
- Eye cataracts, yellowing of eyes
- Cancer of the nose, lip, tongue and mouth
The Centers for Disease Control lists cigarette smoking as the leading preventable cause of death in the US. Nearly 500,000 people die each year because of it. Smoking can change skin texture and tone, and it speeds up the development of wrinkles. All of this and so much more can be prevented by limiting or even completely stopping your use of tobacco products.
Need help repairing some of the damage caused by smoking? Contact Gulf Coast Dental to schedule your appointment today.