Are you looking for further incentive to quit smoking? You might consider the major repercussions this harmful habit can have on your oral health! Here are just five ways that smoking cigarettes can negatively impact the health and appearance of your teeth, gums, and tongue.
1. You could be losing your sense of taste.
If you love your daily cup of coffee, then you’ll definitely want to consider dropping your smoking habit as soon as possible. Recent studies have shown that smoking can gradually flatten your taste buds, making them less effective in detecting taste. This particularly affects the taste receptors that taste bitter foods and beverages (such as coffee). Unfortunately, this damage is irreversible, so the sooner you quit, the better!
2. Smoking discolors your teeth.
One of the more commonly known effects of smoking is tooth discoloration. There are two ingredients in cigarettes that are particularly damaging to your pearly whites. The first is nicotine, which may start off as colorless but takes on a yellowish tint when it comes in contact with oxygen. The other culprit is tar. Tar gets trapped in the microscopic nooks and crannies of your dental enamel, leaving a black stain on the surface of your teeth. Together, these two ingredients leave a brownish-yellow tint on the surface of your teeth that can be quite difficult to remove.
3. Your breath becomes unpleasant.
Halitosis (also known as “bad breath”) can occur for a number of reasons. With regards to smoking, there are a few reason why you may lose your minty fresh breath. First, cigarette smoke lingers in your lungs and throat when you smoke and makes an unpleasant odor. One of the longer term effects of smoking, however, is the diminished saliva production. Cigarettes inhibit your ability to produce saliva, which allows the bacteria, food particles, and dead cells in your mouth to build up. These odor-causing bacteria then leave an unpleasant taste and smell in your mouth.
4. You may suffer from tooth decay.
As mentioned above, smoking inhibits your saliva production and allows plaque to flourish on your teeth. When these bacteria feed on the sugars in your food, they release harmful acids onto the surface of your teeth. Over time, these “acid attacks” can lead to tooth decay.
5. You are at greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease.
Smoking inhibits your immune system and allows harmful bacteria to flourish on your teeth. This can make for a nasty combination, as it makes your gums susceptible to an infection known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and should be taken very seriously, as it can ultimately have major impacts on your overall health if not addressed.
If you’ve recently quit smoking and would like to check in on your oral health, we can help! Just contact Carillon Family Dental in Romeoville today to set up your next routine check-up.