Many people know that smoking and using tobacco products negatively impact your overall health. Smoking can increase a patient’s risk of developing breathing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking and using tobacco products also impact your oral health? Dr. Mark Sowell works with patients to teach them about how smoking and tobacco affect their teeth in his Plano, TX dental office. Becoming aware of these problems helps patients improve not only their oral health but also their overall health.
How Does Tobacco Affect My Teeth and Gums?
Cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and unprocessed tobacco leaves (used as cigar wrappers) contain small yet abrasive particles that damage the top layer of the teeth, or tooth enamel. When chewed, these particles mix with your saliva and creates a paste that wears down the enamel.
In addition to this, smoking cigarettes can hinder the body’s ability to heal, which limits the effectiveness of dental procedures. Restorative dental solutions like dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures may not be the best option for patients who use tobacco products. This is because tobacco use increases the risk of gum inflammation and bacteria growth. Smoking also reduces blood flow, which can make it more difficult for patients to heal properly after their dental procedures.
The failure rate for dental implants is higher among smokers, about 16 percent, compared to 1.4 percent among non-smokers. Because smoking stunts your immune system’s ability to fight off infection, patients who use tobacco products are at risk of dental abscesses and even sepsis. If patients who smoke or use tobacco products develop gum disease, they may have more severe symptoms. Smokers with gum inflammation can quickly notice further signs of periodontitis such as bad breath, fever, gum sensitivity, bleeding gums, and even gum recession.
Schedule a Dental Appointment Today
Ultimately, using tobacco products and smoking cigarettes can make it difficult for patients to keep their teeth and gums healthy. If you need help restoring your teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sowell of Sensational Smiles by calling (972) 382-6855 or schedule a complimentary consultation online today.