It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. With about 225,000 new cases of lung cancer a year, smoking is obviously hazardous. However, did you know that smoking is also hazardous to your smile? Find out more with help from your Jackson, MI dentist, Dr. Constance Smith.
How Smoking Affects Your Smile
- Tooth Discoloration: The most obvious effect of smoking on your smile is the yellow teeth continued tobacco use leaves behind. While teeth whitening may help this issue, smoking will continuously yellow your teeth. The only way to prevent tobacco-related tooth discoloration from happening is to quit using tobacco altogether.
- Increased Risk of Disease: Smoking tobacco puts you at a greater risk of gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss. It also greatly increases your chances of developing oral and throat cancers. Additionally, smoking causes harm to the gums’ cells, causing an increased risk of infections.
- Decreased Blood Flow: Smoking decreases blood flow throughout the entire body, your mouth included. Decreased blood flow increases healing times and hinders the body’s natural self-healing methods to fight conditions like cavities and gum disease.
Is smokeless tobacco safer than smoking?
No. Studies have shown that smokeless tobacco may cause even more harm to the body than smoking. Smokeless tobacco has more nicotine than cigarettes, making it more addicting. Smokeless tobacco users have an exponentially higher risk of mouth and throat cancers and gum disease than non-users. Smokeless tobacco also does physical damage to the gums, causing them to recede and become hypersensitive to temperature, making eating and drinking difficult.
How can my Jackson dentist help?
There are countless resources to help you kick your tobacco habit for good. Studies have shown that quitting now greatly decreases your risk of tobacco-related illness. Prescription medications, nicotine replacement patches and gums, and support groups and books are available to aid you on your journey to becoming a non-user. Your dentist can work with you to find and utilize these resources.
For more information on quitting your tobacco habit for good, please contact Dr. Constance Smith. Call (517) 787-7520 to speak with an associate about scheduling your dental appointment today!