The Impact of Smoking on Your Teeth

Smoking can have a significant impact on your oral — and overall — health. From causing common issues like staining to more serious health concerns like gum disease and oral cancer, the effects of tobacco and e-cigarette usage should not be taken lightly.

Family Dentistry of New Jersey (FDNJ) can help you learn more about how smoking can affect your teeth and offer the services you need for better oral health.

What Are the Effects of Smoking or Vaping on Oral Health?

Both smoking and vaping can significantly impact your teeth, gums and mouth. Minor effects can include stained teeth, bad breath and a dulled sense of taste. Over time, though, smoking and vaping can lead to serious gum disease.

Gum, or periodontal, disease, happens when there is a buildup of bacteria on your teeth, which then forms into layers of plaque and tartar. If this buildup isn’t removed, it can cause an infection that impacts your gums and bone structure. When the bone and tissue get infected, your teeth may start to loosen or even fall out.

Preventive Measures You Can Take

Smokers can take several preventive measures to mitigate the negative effects of smoking on their oral health. Of course, the best way to prevent issues is to quit smoking. However, if you are currently smoking or in the process of quitting, you can help protect yourself from gum disease by thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing to remove and prevent plaque buildup.

Be sure to also schedule regular dentist visits for professional cleanings and checkups.

Importance of Regular Dental Visits

There are several benefits of scheduling regular dental visits, especially for smokers. During your appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, looking for potential problems like cavities and plaque and tartar buildup. They will be able to see if there are any signs of early tooth decay or gum disease and then take the necessary steps to fix them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out a few frequently asked questions to learn more about the impact of smoking on your teeth:

  • Is any form or amount of tobacco ok: All forms and amounts of tobacco can lead to serious health problems. These products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, making it hard to limit and quit tobacco usage. It can cause all kinds of health problems, including cavities, gum disease, precancerous mouth lesions, heart disease and cancer.
  • Does smoking cause gum disease: Yes, any form of tobacco can increase your chances of gum disease. Along with contributing to plaque and tartar buildup, smoking also weakens your body’s immune system, which makes it harder to fight off gum disease.
  • How is gum disease treated: There are several ways to treat gum disease, ranging from deep cleaning below the gum line to surgery to replace bone loss. Your dentist will determine the best treatment approach based on your specific condition.
  • Is it ok to smoke or vape after wisdom teeth extraction: There are several risks of smoking after wisdom teeth removal. If you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removed, it’s recommended that you wait at least 48 hours before you start smoking again. This is because smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of complications like dry socket, which is a painful condition that results when the blood clot dissolves or becomes dislodged. Smoking also reduces blood flow to your mouth, which negatively impacts your body’s ability to heal.
  • How do you remove smoking stains from your teeth: If you have yellow or dark stains on your teeth from smoking, some DIY methods could help lighten the stains. You can try using a paste of baking soda and water or whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to minimize the stains. If home remedies aren’t working, you may need professional treatments to remove the tooth discoloration. Regular dental cleanings will remove buildup while professional whitening options will help your smile glow.

Schedule a Dental Checkup With Our Team Today

At FDNJ, we are committed to creating beautiful, healthy smiles. No matter what oral health concerns you are facing, our ultimate goal is to create a welcoming environment that you and your family will feel comfortable in. Our comprehensive dental care includes everything from dental hygiene to cosmetic dentistry.

We specialize in a comprehensive dentistry approach that enables us to ensure we treat your symptoms and meet your needs, whatever they may be. Contact us today to schedule a dental checkup to assess the impact of smoking on your oral health.

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