If you have a smoker’s mouth, you may be wondering what steps you can take to treat and reverse any adverse effects you might be experiencing. If you still smoke, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to quit smoking immediately.
If you have already stopped, below are some action items for you that will help you brighten your teeth in just a few days. You only need to care for your gums and teeth, improve any unpleasant odors, and return to your oral hygiene so that you can feel relaxed.
Smoking cigarettes not only makes your teeth yellow but also makes your breath stink. You can also have serious health issues in the long run. E-cigarettes are also no good as they may not discolor your teeth, but they carry all the same risks associated with regular cigarettes. You should return to a condition wherein you can inhale a deep breath of fresh air.
In simple terms, the sooner you quit, the sooner you can start reversing the damage done to your oral and overall health(including mental health). You only need to get started.
Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health
You would be surprised to know the adverse effects of smoking. Smoking stains your tongue and teeth and interferes with your sense of taste and smell. According to the CDC, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease because smoking weakens your immune system’s response to bacteria.
According to the FDA, when you smoke, it causes carbon monoxide to enter your blood, robbing your blood vessels of the oxygen it needs. If you have dental surgery, it might take slower to heal, putting you at risk for post-op complications. In addition, oral cancer is one of the most severe consequences of smoking.
Remember quitting smoking is hard, but it is a doable job. A study shows that your brain dopamine will return to normal levels about three months after you stop smoking. Do you know that dopamine is released during many rewarding experiences, like taking drugs, having sex, smoking, and eating food?
Since dopamine is released when you smoke, it makes sense that dopamine levels become abnormal when you choose to stop smoking. Meaning your brain produces less dopamine, a chemical involved in both addiction and pleasure. Slowly your brain will begin to get used to not smoking, putting you on the path to breaking the cycle of addiction.
Smoking also has detrimental effects on your whole mouth. Besides making your breath stink and discolor your healthy teeth, it could lead to tooth decay, gum infections, and periodontal disease. As a result, you can have tooth loss and can even have oral cancer. If you are still a smoker, the foremost step you should take to improve your oral hygiene – is to quit smoking.
Quit Smoking, For Healthier Teeth and Gums
It is not the first time you have heard that – smoking is bad for you. According to a recent report, it is the leading cause of preventable death in the country. It can lead to a whole list of diseases and can be problematic for every organ in your body.
Experts say smokers are six times more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. This is because smoking dampens your body’s immune system, thus making it harder for you to fight back against any disease.
Most gum diseases are often painless until discovered by your dentist. Hence as a smoker, you may be unaware of the impact smoking can have on your oral health. Set a quit date for your self. You might have the urge to smoke, but follow your smoking program. Call 1-800-quit to help you with the quitting period. Smoking cessation [stopping smoking] is the single most important step you can take to stop smoking.
Your doctor might suggest nicotine replacement therapy to help you stop smoking. You can also use nicotine gum as it a scientifically proven quit smoking aid. You need to managing smoking withdrawal symptoms to overcome the habit. You can also try nasal sprays.
But the increased risk of tooth loss may be enough to persuade you to quit smoking. Your dentist will try to do all they can to inform you of the dangers of smoking. They will also assist you to stop smoking before the disease takes hold.
Quit Smoking For a Better Dental Implant Result
If you are a smoker, you might wonder if you still qualify for dental implant surgery and whether the procedure will succeed. Is it possible to get dental implants as a smoker? Remember, you will need to put your habit on hold for a successful outcome.
Smokers indeed have several added challenges in caring for dental implants. But with proper maintenance, you can still have a smile you will love. Because of the harmful impact of tobacco, nicotine, and smoke, not every smoker’s dental implant surgery would be a success. There are several ways smoking can hinder your dental implant surgery:
- Smoke harms your surrounding gums and bone: The smoke from the cigarette burns your oral tissues on the inside of your mouth. It can even block or damage your salivary glands, resulting in mouth dryness. A lack of saliva in your mouth could lead to tooth decay and gum disease, thus weakening the gums and the bones that support your implants.
- Nicotine and tobacco prevent the bone from fusing with the implant: A lack of blood flow and oxygen will decrease your ability to heal properly after the surgery. It will also impact the growth of your bone into the implant. Meaning the smoke will affect the process fusing together of your implant and the surrounding bone. Clinical trials have proved that you are at a higher risk of fusion failure if you are a smoker.
- Nicotine slows down healing and immune system defenses: When a cigarette introduces nicotine, it will restrict blood and oxygen flow to your bone and oral tissues. The extra oxygen and blood flow will help in healing after surgery. Nicotine exposure will weaken your body’s immune defenses and also your healing abilities.
Smoking Leads to Dental Problems
Below are the dental problems associated with oral
- Tooth discoloration or yellow teeth
- Bad breath.
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings – one located on the roof of your mouth.
- A buildup of tartar and plaque on teeth.
- More loss of bone within your jaw.
- Increased risk of leukoplakia. You can notice white patches inside your mouth.
- Risk of developing gum disease, leading to tooth loss.
- The delayed healing process following oral surgery, tooth extraction, or periodontal treatment.
- The 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 secret that smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products harm your health. If you are looking for a little extra motivation to quit smoking, you should consider the following reasons.
1 Your breath will smell great.
There are many reasons that smoking will cause halitosis or bad breath. The primary reason being that the smoke resides in the lungs and throat. However, it might also cause your palate to become dry, making it easier for odor-causing bacteria to flourish in your dry mouth. Therefore, by quitting smoking, you can decrease the bad bacteria in your mouth.
2 It will lessen your risk for cavities.
If you smoke, it will create an environment in which plaque and tartar flourish. The bacteria present in the plaque will excrete harmful acids, which will wear down your enamel over time.
3 Quitting will improve the appearance of your teeth.
Particularly nicotine and tar present in cigarette smoke cause stains on your dental enamel. Nicotine is itself colorless, but it turns into a yellowish color when it comes into contact with oxygen. Tar, on the other hand, creates a brown and black discoloration on your teeth.
4 Quitting will save your taste buds.
Smoking will slowly dull out your sense of taste, making food less enjoyable. Hence the chemicals present in the smoke change the shape of your taste receptors by becoming flattered. Experts believe that smoking will permanently damage your taste buds. Therefore, it is vital to quit smoking at the earliest.
5 It will lessen your risk for periodontal disease.
Smoking is one of the strongest indicators of your risk for gum or periodontal disease. This is because smoking weakens your immune system creating a favorable env for harmful bacteria.
How Does Smoking Lead to Gum Disease?
Smoking and tobacco products could lead to gum disease. It will affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding your teeth. More specifically, smoking interferes with the normal functioning of your gum tissue cells. This interference makes you more prone to infections like periodontal disease. In addition, it also seems to impair blood flow to the gums, slowing down the healing process.
When your gums become infected, they become inflamed. This bacterial infection is referred to as gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease. This condition can only be treated by your dentist at the dental clinic as there is no pain experienced in the early stages. If you leave it untreated, this infection can worsen to become periodontal disease ultimately.
This gum infection could lead to serious health issues. Your overall health might get affected as it could lead to conditions like tooth loss, heart disease, respiratory illness, stroke, and more. Hence by quitting smoking, you lessen your chances of getting periodontal disease. Moreover, you also increase your ability to receive surgical treatment for any kind of existing gum issues.
You know that it is not easy to give up tobacco. But there are some great benefits to doing so. 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 can actively participate in your daily activities. And lastly, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are keeping your mouth and your entire body healthy.