In 2019, everyone knows how much smoking affects your lungs. It also has many negative effects in your mouth, as one of the main causes of bad breath (halitosis). Smoking will also cause problems with your teeth, gums and oral mucosa.
Is smoking bad for your teeth?
Smoking results in a higher risk of widespread tooth decay, which will result in toothache and ongoing oral discomfort.
Tooth decay as a result of smoking breaks down your teeth’s structural integrity.
Tooth decay can be difficult to rectify if you’ve left it untreated for a period of time and sometimes tooth extraction is required as a preventative cause.
In addition, smoking leads to deep staining of the teeth – which is very difficult to remove. Some people resort to brushing harder or using more coarse tooth brushes – but this will cause long term increased sensitivity to hot and cold.
Studies have also linked smoking to periodontal gum disease, which occurs when the gums and jawbone recede away from your teeth, and can even lead to loose teeth if the disease is advanced. There is no cure for periodontal gum disease, and the condition can only be managed. Loose teeth makes eating hard, and can affect your self-confidence as well. In bad cases, teeth may need to be extracted, which will impact on your ability to chew food.
Additionally, smoking may alter the oral mucosa, which can lead to myriad issues such as oral candidiasis or lichen planus.
Studies have also shown that smoking leads to higher risks of mouth cancer (e.g. squamous cell carcinoma). If it’s a late detection this can be a very serious issue – so it’s important to have regular checks for oral cancer if you’re a smoker.