Even though smoking cigarettes is now known to be related to a litany of health issues and the number of smokers is declining, many people do still smoke tobacco. According to the latest data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 14 percent, or 14 out of 100, adults in America are smokers. If you are a smoker yourself, you likely already know that this habit can have a detrimental effect on your smile. Here is a closer look at some of the problems you should watch for as a smoker.
1. Bad Breath
Smoking elevates the temperature in your mouth by several degrees. This heightened temperature gives bacteria the perfect environment for growth, which can lead to major problems with bad breath. Not to mention, smoking can reduce salivary production, which can also contribute to issues with bad breath.
2. Inflamed Gums
Smokers are at a much higher risk of problems with gum disease, which is essentially inflamed or even infected gums that can start to pull away from the teeth. If you notice that your gums look inflamed, feel tender to the touch, or seem to be shrinking away from your teeth, it is critical that you get the advice of a dentist. While gum disease can be treated, it is much harder to treat if you continue to smoke.
3. Interior Tooth Decay
Interior tooth decay refers to the decay that takes place on the backside of your teeth. When you smoke, you inhale the smoke and then release it back through your mouth, which means the heated smoke and chemicals push against the interior surfaces of your teeth. Many smokers start to develop decay in these areas at a faster rate than what they do anywhere else. Unfortunately, this form of decay can be a bit harder to spot until it is so severe that it causes pain or major changes in tooth structure.
4. Enamel Stains
Smoking is perhaps most widely recognized as a habit that will stain your teeth. The combination of the heated smoke, the nicotine, and the additives in the tobacco can leave stubborn, lingering stains on tooth enamel. These stains are not so easily removed with brushing and often settle into the enamel permanently for heavy smokers.
Work to Protect Your Smile with the Help of a Sarasota Dentist
Smokers are consistently encouraged to stop smoking. Quitting can be one of the most important things you can do for your overall health as well as the health of your teeth. If you are a smoker, you must be vigilant about your dental health. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Keneth Schweizer DDS PA to schedule an appointment.