Smoking and teeth – 9 facts:
1. Yellow teeth
Each cigarette creates a yellowish-brown layer on the teeth that can be removed only by a professional hygienist. Some pigments which are absorbed into the tooth composition and are harder to remove and will require professional dental bleaching.
2. Bad breath
Tobacco smoke in the mouth leaves toxins and chemicals on the oral tissue - particularly the palate, gums and tongue. These are not easily washed off and affect your breath for hours after smoking.
3. Decreased healing after dental procedures
Cigarette smoke contains many chemicals, some of which cause blood vessel constriction. This phenomenon decreases significantly the ability of the gum and surrounding environment to heal (short and long term) following surgical treatments.
4. More pain during dental work
Patients who smoke are likely to feel more pain during and after dental procedures because of blocked/narrower blood vessels which function less effectively.
5. More cavities
Cigarettes cause a significant reduction in the secretion of saliva which helps in protecting teeth from cavities. The result is more cavities.
6. Impaired sense of taste
Smoking creates a bio-film layer which covers taste buds located on the tongue and gums. This leads to a decreased sense of taste.
7. Rejection of implants
Many studies have found that the chance of dental implant integration decreases by 25 percent in smokers vs. non-smokers.
8. Advanced periodontal disease and bone withdrawal
Chronic smokers usually bleed more when brushing and have swollen gums. Over time this can lead to chronic gum disease and the resorption of the bone which supports the teeth, thereby causing tooth loss over time.
9. Oral cancer
Smoking as well as chewing tobacco, is known to significantly increase the risk of cancerous lesions.
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