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The mouth is the first organ that takes the brunt of smoking. The teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue are all affected by smoking. While most are worried about the discoloration of the teeth and lips, the damage is actually quite deep rooted literally and figuratively. The harmful effects of smoking reach the roots and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Let us look at some ways how smoking affects the teeth.
1. The black stains that are the tell-tale signs of a smoker are a major source of irritation to the teeth, especially along the gum line. On one hand, they do not allow proper cleaning of the gums and on the other, they are a constant source of irritation leading to inflammation. The result is there is damage beneath that layer of black stains, which does not become visible unless the signs of infection become evident pain, redness, swelling or even pus formation in some cases.
2. Smoking conceals the gum disease from becoming evident, thereby, reducing the chance of identifying and treating the disease at an early stage. This progresses to more severe periodontal disease, where the bones and supporting tissues that hold the tooth in place are infected and gradually the tooth weakens.
3. The nicotine in the smoke also promotes the growth of bacteria that lead to plaque formation and thereby worsen the pace at which gum disease happens.
4. Another aspect is that in smokers, the ability of the gums to heal is reduced drastically, thereby, leading to progressive incremental damage and eventual tooth loss.
5. Nicotine reduces the amount of minerals in bones and especially in postmenopausal female smokers, the bones are quite weak and the incidence of periodontal disease is also quite high.
To summarize, for smokers, the risk for gum disease is higher and the recovery of gum disease is delayed. The duration and number of cigarettes has a direct effect on the gum disease. Of note, the effects are more severe in females, compared to males.
The good news however, is that quitting smoking (and other forms of nicotine) can show immediate results, including complete reversal of the damage. Other ways to manage include:
1. Regular brushing and flossing, twice a day at least
2. Rinsing after each meal with either a medicated rinse or plain water
3. Clinical cleaning including scaling and root planing if required at regular intervals
4. Minor surgery if required if there is root exposure and/or deep periodontal pockets
5. Abstain from tobacco in any form
Smoking affects the gums and periodontium severely, tooth loss has a strong and direct correlation with smoking. Not many would have thought about the adverse effects of smoking on the dental system. While they sound very alarming, there is definitely hope, with the first step as quitting it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.
I am 49 years old. I am suffering from toothache in a right upper gum tooth. This tooth has been eroded badly since long. What should I do, whether the tooth needs to be pulled out or to be filled up by some method. Please advise.
I am 23 yrs old and I am thinking of getting braces. I feel my teeth are getting outwards day by day. Please suggest what kind of braces would be useful, how long do u have it put it on and what is the approx expense?
I am having tooth pain since last one week but the pain increases alot in the night. Then I have to take the painkiller tablet. Tooth is in upper jaw and it's decayed. Kindly suggest the treatment. Thank you.
How to protect my teeth from germs, how can I improve my teeth color according to white like a cute baby. How can I care about my hair also?
I am suffering from last two weeks in mouth ulcer I am tried all ointment and medicines but not use please suggest what I do?
I remove my wisdom tooth but after 2 days I have Numbness in my tongue is that any complication Behind this what's the treatment how long the time will take to recover from the last 20 days of removing the wisdom tooth its not quite regular but on or off only small space of the tongue.
I am 27 year old. My mouth and my body get bad smell. I am daily two times routine and bathing also. But smell is come usually. I am so irritate feeling. Pls help me. This problem so long time from childhood. Pls help me.
Brush twice a day and floss daily even when your braces are on. The food particles get stuck into the braces very easily. It is very important to keep them clean.