For many people in Philly, smoking is more than just a habit, but it’s also a way of relieving stress, or maybe even a social lubricant—unfortunately though, a cigarette stick isn’t exactly the healthiest way to relax or make friends. Not only does tobacco contain at least 250 harmful chemicals, but even a trusted Philadelphia dentist will tell you that smoking can harm your teeth and gums.
Dental Effects of Smoking
According to an article in WebMD, here are some of the dental problems you could expect if you’re a frequent smoker:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches inside the mouth
- Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss
- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
Smoking and Delayed Wound Healing
Smoking can, in fact, increase the chances of wound infection as it delays wound healing, which can be dangerous for people scheduled for dental surgery. When you smoke, your blood vessels constrict or become smaller, making it more difficult for your red blood cells to efficiently transport oxygenated blood to the injured or affected area, thus impeding the healingprocess.
Smoking and Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is yet another problem smokers often face, since the chemicals in an average tobacco cigarette works to interfere with the normal functioning of your gum tissue cells. Moreover, smoking is also known to change the type of bacteria in dental plaque, consequently increasing the number of harmful microorganisms.
Smoking and Discoloration
One of the best ways to identify a chain smoker is to look at the color of his teeth; this is because, along with beverages like coffee and colored drinks, tobacco stains your teeth’s enamel, which could give your pearly whites more of a brown or yellow shade. Studies have found that nearly twice as many smokers reported having moderate or severely stained teeth as nonsmokers.
In itself, smoking is not entirely bad—but as with all things that could be considered a vice, moderation is always the key. Sure, you can always visit a Philadelphia cosmetic dentist from an established practice like Wynnewood Dental Arts for whitening solutions, but always keep your overall health in mind whenever you’re thinking of indulging in a pack of smokes.
(Source: Smoking and Oral Health,WebMD)