By interfering with the blood flow to the gums and the normal functioning of your gum tissue cells, smoking will eventually weaken your immune system and make it hard for your body to fight the infection. As a result, you will be left with gums that are now more prone to disease and poor oral health. According to Dentist Brisbane Smoking will cause you to experience a delayed healing process from various dental treatments or dental surgical procedures.

Oral health issues caused by smoking

Harmful chemicals in cigarettes put smokers at a high risk of developing various sorts of dental problems, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer
  • Tooth loss (followed by gum disease)
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry socket
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth discolouration
  • Less oxygen supply to the gums
  • High risk of plaque and tartar buildup on the tooth
  • Lower chance of having a successful dental implant procedure
  • The longer healing process after some dental work like tooth extraction and gum surgery

What are the benefits of giving up smoking?

Any form of tobacco use can be extremely harmful to your well-being. Although you have already hurt your body by smoking, you can consider giving up smoking and witness your health’s improvement.

Remember, it’s never too late to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones.

Here are some advantages of quitting smoking that can encourage you to start today.

By quitting smoking and starting a healthier lifestyle, you will:

  1. Reduce the risk of cancer,
  2. Reduce the risk of oral health diseases,
  3. Reduce your risk of getting a heart attack,
  4. Reduce your blood pressure that is another leading cause of death,
  5. Have thinner blood, so your heart will work easier to carry around the blood in your body,
  6. Have lowered level of cholesterol in your blood,
  7. Improve your lungs’ function,
  8. Have lowered risk of diabetes, which is another serious health concern,
  9. Improve your night vision, and your overall vision will be better,
  10. Enjoy a brighter smile and a whiter set of teeth,
  11. Have a fresher and more pleasant breath,
  12. By trying to break the addiction cycle, you can rewire your brain’s craving for nicotine,

We can go on and on about the numerous benefits of quitting smoking, so don’t wait till tomorrow! You can get a professional consultation about effective and practical ways of giving up smoking if you think it may be hard for you alone to kick this habit.

Smoking and Periodontal Disease

Smokers are more susceptible to developing gum disease. Smoking will increase the risk of producing bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless film that grows on the teeth every day and contains countless bacteria.

Periodontal disease is defined as the infection and inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup under your gums.

Buildup plaque can cause the tissues that are holding your teeth in place to get infected.

Early signs of gum disease should be addressed immediately because gums health can be restored easier at this stage, which is called “gingivitis.”

In severe stages of periodontal disease, referred to as “periodontitis,” infected gums will no be able to hold the teeth in place, and patients may experience tooth loss.

If you’re a smoker and have some or all of the symptoms associated with gum disease, consider quitting and seeking urgent oral care.

Red flags of gum disease if you are a smoker

As mentioned before, smokers are more susceptible to oral diseases like periodontal disease. Therefore, if you smoke and see the following signs, visit your dentist as soon as you can to seek oral care:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bad taste and breath
  • Tender and bleeding gums
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Experiencing pain while chewing
  • Gums that are not firm enough and feel loose

Having regular dental checkups, maintaining proper oral hygiene, removing dental plaque from the teeth, and above all, quitting smoking will significantly improve your oral and overall health.

Smoking and Teeth Discoloration

Having a beautiful white set of teeth can boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable smiling in your daily interactions. However, some things can compromise the brilliance of your smile by giving your teeth a yellowish shade.

Tobacco use can stain your teeth and turn those pearly whites less shiny. Smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth discolouration that will change the colour of your teeth in no time and leaves you with a less bright set of teeth.

The tiny pores in your teeth will absorb the nicotine and tar in tobacco to make the teeth yellow or brownish due to combining with oxygen.

The number of times you smoke per day will also affect how discoloured your teeth will become.

Teeth whitening to remove tobacco stains

Although long-term smoking has made it challenging to have tobacco stains removed from teeth, there are still ways to try and achieve acceptable results.

Whitening Options

To make your teeth whiter and remove those yellowish stains, you can consider professional teeth whitening, at-home treatments, or over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products.

1.Professional Teeth Whitening

When the tobacco stains have penetrated deep into layers of dentin, whitening toothpaste or DIY (do-it-yourself) remedies will no longer work, and seeking professional teeth whitening is essential.

InChair teeth whitening

After examining your teeth thoroughly and ensuring that the procedure is suitable for you, your dentist or oral hygienist will start the process by determining your desired final shade.

Teeth whitening might not be a suitable option for tooth sensitivity or thin or transparent teeth.

  1. During the procedure, your oral hygienist will place a cheek retractor into your mouth, which exposes all visible teeth when you smile.
  2. Then a special protective resin or gel will be applied over your gums to protect them from burning caused by peroxide (the bleaching gel).
  3. The dentist will apply the bleaching gel to your teeth and leave it for about thirty minutes.
  4. Laser light is usually used to speed up the process.
  5. The oral hygienist will remove the previous bleaching gel, apply fresh gel, and leave it again for another thirty minutes.
  6.  After the protective guard is removed, you should rinse and see the result of whitening.

Your dentist may give you a custom take-home tray to use as a follow-up treatment to your professional teeth whitening session.

Keep in mind that teeth whitening is not permanent, and your teeth are still in danger of getting discoloured if you continue smoking.

2.At-Home Teeth Whitening

At-home teeth whitening options are also available for those who prefer to use more convenient ways to restore their teeth’ colour.

Professional take-home whitening kit

Tray-based tooth whitening kits come in two types: one-size-fits-all store-bought kits and custom-fitted.

Custom-fitted take-home whitening kit

  1. Your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth for a custom-fabricated tray.
  2. The impression will be sent to a dental lab to fabricate custom-made whitening mouth trays.
  3. After your custom-fitted mouth tray is prepared, you will come to the office, and your dentist will give you a carbamide peroxide-based gel rather than a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste to place in the tray.
  4. You will receive the necessary instructions on applying the solution on the tray to get the result.
  5. Your dentist may ask you to wear the mouth tray for one to several hours a day for up to 28 days.

Note: Although you will need to be more patient to get your desired result with carbamide peroxide-based gel than a hydrogen peroxide-based gel, it will cause less sensitivity for your gums or tongue.

Over-the-counter trays

Over-the-counter trays will also help you with your discoloured teeth; however, they may not be as effective and convenient as custom trays.

As the name suggests, OTC trays may not fit perfectly over your teeth because they are not specially made for you.

Smoking and Oral Health

Oral health should always be integrated with general health, and it’s not to be neglected no matter how old you are. As you know, oral health can directly affect your overall health and life’s quality. Numerous factors can affect a person’s oral health and lead to problematic health issues; smoking is one.

There is no denying the fact that smoking can have many harmful effects on your body. Accompanied by poor oral hygiene, smoking can negatively impact your general and oral health and cause you a lot of unnecessary consequences.

References

https://www.puredentistry.com.au/time-to-quit-smoking/
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/smoking-and-oral-health#bhc-content
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/smoking-oral-health
https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/teeth-and-gums/keep-your-smile-looking-good-easy/smoking-and-oral-health
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/threats-to-dental-health/effects-of-smoking-on-teeth
https://www.dhamadison.com/news/how-smoking-affects-your-teeth/
https://www.smilebrilliant.com/articles/tobacco-stains-on-teeth
https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-remove-nicotine-stains-from-teeth
https://www.ultrasmile.co.uk/professional-teeth-whitening-what-to-expect/
https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/professional-whitening/
https://www.capstonedental.com.au/blog/professional-teeth-whitening-step-by-step-guide
https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-professional-take-home-teeth-whitening-kits-1059033
https://www.forbes.com/health/body/professional-teeth-whitening-guide/#in_office_whitening_vs_custom_take_home_trays_section
https://drjasonharvey.ca/what-you-should-know-before-using-teeth-whitening-strips/
https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/benefits-of-quitting