Does Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

Smoking, vaping, and using other tobacco products can typically leave a bad smell. Most people know how bad tobacco and nicotine are for their physical health, but did you know that these products are bad for your oral health? Vaping, smoking cigarettes, and using other tobacco products can lead to increased dental health issues. Here we will discuss the links between smoking and oral health and how we can treat dental issues caused by smoking in Arlington Heights, IL.

Oral Health Problems Linked to Smoking

Smoking cigarettes, vaping, and using other tobacco products that contain nicotine can increase the risk of developing oral health issues. There are many common and serious dental problems linked to tobacco use:

Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, can become a chronic problem for patients who use tobacco products. Patients who use nicotine or tobacco often experience dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth. As a result, patients with dry mouth can experience bad breath and are more at risk of dental infections. Drinking enough water and chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production.

Tooth Stains

Nicotine easily yellows and stains the tooth enamel. The nicotine seeps through the small pores of the teeth, creating yellowed or darkened tooth enamel. We can provide professional teeth whitening treatment to brighten the smile and lift tooth stains. Whitening treatments essentially bleach the tooth enamel, removing spots or stains left by nicotine use.

Gum Disease

Smoking leads to a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. Because of this, smokers are more prone to problems like gum disease. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is a bacterial infection marked by swollen, red, and bleeding gums. Over time, as gum disease progresses, patients can experience gum recession and loose teeth. Antibacterial rinses and deep cleanings can help keep gum disease at bay and benefit patients with chronic gum problems. While we typically recommend dental cleanings every six months, we can recommend a more frequent schedule as needed.

Oral Cancer

If you notice white or red patches in your mouth that won’t go away, chances are you have oral cancer. Heavy tobacco use is a risk factor for developing oral cancer. It is important to visit the dentist if you notice these patches so a dental professional can determine the best method of treatment. Oral cancer can require surgery or even radiation therapy.

Have you noticed changes in your smile due to tobacco use? Call AH Smiles for treatment today at (847) 230-9703. You may also schedule your next dental appointment with Dr. Brent Engelberg online. Dr. Engelberg will be happy to help you find the right oral health treatment to meet your needs.