Do you have a smoker’s mouth? You may be wondering what steps you should take to treat and reverse any adverse effects you might be experiencing because of smoking. If you still smoke, the best step you can take for your oral health is to quit smoking immediately. If you have already given up smoking, discussed below are some action items that might help you brighten your teeth in just a week.
All you need to do is take extra care of teeth and gums, improve any unpleasant smell, and improve your oral hygiene so that you can feel relaxed.
Smoking cigarettes are very harmful as they make your teeth yellow and your breath stink. If you continue smoking you can have serious health issues in future. E-cigarettes are also no good as they might not discolor your teeth, but they carry all the same risks associated with regular cigarettes.
In simple terms, the best option is to quit smoking, the sooner the better. If you quit smoking you can start reversing the damage done to your oral and overall health. You only need to kick start it.
Smoking Effects on Your Oral Health
Quitting smoking is the best way to ensure you stay oral cancer-free. You should be aware of the adverse effects of smoking. Smoking stains your teeth and tongue and interferes with your sense of taste and smell. According to the CDC, smokers have a higher chance of developing gum disease because smoking weakens your immune system’s response to bacteria.
According to the FDA – the smoke from the cigarette causes carbon monoxide to enter your blood, reducing the oxygen content in your blood vessels. Low levels of oxygen in the blood could have serious consequences. If you have undergone dental surgery, it might take longer to heal, thus putting you at risk for post-op complications. Oral cancer is another most severe consequence of smoking.
Quitting smoking is indeed hard, but it is a doable job. A study confirmed that your brain dopamine will only return to normal levels about three-four months after you quit smoking. Your brain releases dopamine during any rewarding experiences – like when you take drugs, have sex, smoke, and eat food?
Since dopamine is released when you smoke – your dopamine levels become abnormal when you choose to quit smoking. At that instance your brain produces less dopamine. It is a chemical involved in both addiction and pleasure. Slowly after quitting smoking your brain will begin to get used to not smoking, putting you on the path to break the cycle of addiction.
As you smoke it has detrimental effects on your whole mouth. Besides having bad breath and discolored teeth, it could lead to gum infections, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Resulting in tooth loss and even oral cancer over a period of time. If you are still a smoker, the foremost step you should take to improve your oral hygiene – is to stop smoking.
Quit Smoking, For Healthier Teeth and Gums
Hope it is not the first time you are hearing that smoking is bad for you. According to a report, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world today. It can lead to a whole set of diseases and can be problematic for every organ in your body including your lungs.
Researchers say smokers have six times more chances of developing gum disease than nonsmokers. The primary cause being smoking dampens your immune system, thus making it difficult for you to fight back any bacteria or germs entering your body.
You need to be careful as most of the gum diseases are often painless until discovered by your dentist. Hence as a smoker, you might even be unaware of the impact smoking can have on your gums and oral health.
But the increased risk of tooth loss should be enough to compel you to give up smoking. Your dentist can at the max inform and warn you of the dangers of smoking. They might also assist you to quit smoking before any severe disease takes hold.
Quit Smoking For a Better Dental Implant Result
You might wonder if being a smoker you still qualify for dental implant surgery. And whether the procedure will succeed in your case. The simple question is – is it possible to get dental implants as a smoker? You only need to put your habit on hold for a successful dental implant surgery.
As a smoker you might have several challenges in caring for dental implants. But with proper maintenance and aftercare, you can still have a smile you desired. Tobacco, nicotine, and smoke can have a harmful effect on your mouth. As a result the chances of getting desired results with your dental implant surgery would be impacted negatively. There are numerous ways smoking can hinder your implant surgery:
- Tobacco and nicotine prevent the bone from fusing with the implant: Due to a lack of blood flow and oxygen – your ability to heal properly after the surgery will be reduced. It will also impact the growth of your bone into the implant. Meaning the smoke from the cigarette will affect the process of fusing together of your implant and the surrounding bone. Clinical trials have confirmed that a smoker is at a higher risk of fusion failure.
- Smoke harms your surrounding gums and bone: The cigarette smoke burns your oral tissues on the inner lining of your mouth. It can even damage or block your salivary glands, resulting in mouth dryness. This lack of saliva in your mouth could cause tooth decay and gum disease, weakening the bones and gums that support your implants.
- Nicotine slows down healing and immune system defenses: When a cigarette introduces nicotine to your mouth, it will automatically restrict blood and oxygen to your bone and oral tissues. Nicotine exposure will weaken your immune defenses and also your body’s healing abilities.
Smoking Leads to Dental Problems
Below are the dental issues associated with oral health
- Bad breath.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Inflammation of your salivary gland openings – one situated on the roof of your mouth.
- More loss of bone in your jaw.
- Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
- You will have increased risk of leukoplakia. You can notice white patches inside your mouth.
- Risk of developing gum disease which will lead to tooth loss.
- A delayed healing process following oral surgery, tooth extraction, or periodontal treatment.
- You will have lower success rate of dental implant procedures.
- Risk of developing oral cancer.
Ways to Improve Your Oral Health After You Quit Smoking
It is no longer a secret that using tobacco products or smoking cigarettes can harm your health. Are you looking for that little extra motivation to quit smoking, then you should consider the following reasons.
1 Quit smoking to improve the appearance of your teeth.
The nicotine and tar present in cigarette smoke cause stains on the enamel of your tooth. Nicotine is itself colorless, but it changes to a yellow color when it comes into contact with oxygen. On the contrary, tar creates a brown and black discoloration on your teeth.
2 Your breath will smell great.
There are many reasons that smoking will result in halitosis or bad breath. The major cause being that the smoke resides in your lungs and throat. Moreover, the smoke might also cause your palate to become dry, which allows the odor-causing bacteria to easily flourish in your dry mouth. Therefore, if you quit smoking, you can decrease the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
3 It will reduce your risk for cavities.
If you smoke, your mouth will create an environment in which plaque and tartar flourish. The bacteria and microbes present in the plaque excretes harmful acids wearing down your enamel over time.
4 Quitting will save your taste buds.
Smoking for a longer period will slowly dull out your sense of taste, making food less tasty and enjoyable. Moreover, the chemicals present in the smoke change the shape of your taste receptors- making them flattered. Researchers believe that smoking can even permanently damage your taste buds. Therefore, it is crucial to quit smoking at the earliest.
5 It will lessen your risk for periodontal disease.
Remember that smoking is one of the strongest indicators – that you have a risk for gum or periodontal disease. This is because the smoke from the cigarette weakens your immune system and creates a favorable environment for the harmful bacteria.
How Does Smoking Lead to Gum Disease?
Tobacco products and smoking could lead to gum disease. It will affect the soft tissue and bone surrounding your teeth. Meaning smoking actually interferes with the normal functioning of the gum tissue cells. As a result, this interference makes you more prone to gum infections like periodontal disease. Moreover, it impairs the blood flow to your gums, slowing down the overall healing process.
When bacteria affect your gums, they become inflamed. This bacterial infection is medically called gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease. Your dentist can only detect this condition as there is no pain experienced in the initial stages. If you leave it untreated, this gum infection can worsen leading to periodontal disease ultimately.
This gum infection can have severe health implications. Your overall health will be impacted as it could lead to conditions like heart disease, tooth loss, respiratory illness, stroke, and more. Hence if you quit smoking, you automatically lessen your chances of getting periodontal disease. In addition, you also increase your ability to receive surgical treatment for any kind of gum issues.
You know that it is not easy to quit smoking or give up tobacco. But there are some great hidden benefits to doing so. If you give up smoking you might start to notice food tastes better, your sense of smell becomes more acute, and you can more easily stay active. Without getting winded, you will notice that you can actively participate in your daily activities. And finally you will have the satisfaction that you are keeping your mouth and your entire body healthy.