What Smoking Does To Your Dental Health

If you smoke, you may worry about getting lung disease. You may not even realize what harmful effects smoking has on your oral health as well. The longer you smoke and the more you smoke, the more disastrous it is for your gums and teeth. Here are some of the bad effects smoking has on your mouth.

Dries The Mouth

Smoking can cause your mouth to be drier than normal. This is harmful to your teeth because your teeth need to be constantly bathed in saliva to wash away bacteria. People with dry mouth often go on to develop dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. If you can't stop smoking and you know you suffer from dry mouth because of it, talk to your dentist for ways to prevent damage to your teeth from a reduced amount of saliva. He or she may recommend certain oral care products or artificial saliva to help combat this problem.

Stains The Teeth

When you smoke, you have a tendency to develop yellow teeth from the tobacco and other chemicals in cigarettes. This discoloration can usually be removed with tooth whitening procedures, but if you don't stop smoking, the yellow discoloration will just come back. That leaves you in a constant loop of whitening your teeth and discoloring them again. While peroxide treatments may be safe occasionally, using them often may not be healthy for your mouth. Be sure to let your dentist know how often you use over-the-counter tooth whiteners to make sure you're not risking your health.

Promotes Gum Disease

An unfortunate side effect of cigarette smoking is gum disease. Gum disease develops because smoking increases the amount of bacteria in your mouth and it also makes it harder for your body to fight off the bacteria. As a result, your gums become infected and gradually pull away from your teeth. If this condition isn't corrected, you run the risk of losing some of your teeth. In addition, if you need dental work to heal your gum disease or pull a tooth, your body has a harder time healing due to the effects of cigarette smoking on your mouth and gums.

Causes Bad Breath

While your dentist can help with many causes of bad breath, the ultimate solution is to just stop smoking so health can be restored to your mouth. When you smoke, you tend to have chronic bad breath, even if you brush, floss, and use mouthwash frequently. If you use hard candy or mints with sugar to cover the odor, you just add sugar to the mix and make your dental problems worse.

It's difficult to stop smoking, but if you do, you'll improve the health of your mouth along with your general overall health. Your dentist may not be able to help you stop smoking, but he or she can help you deal with the side effects in your mouth. When you smoke, you should visit your dentist on a regular schedule so you can stay on top of potential problems before they turn into dental health emergencies. Visit a site like http://westlakesfamilydental.com/ for more information.