It’s been estimated that 6.1 million adults in the UK regularly smoke, so that means 6.1 million people are regularly inhaling toxins and chemicals that are anything but good for your body. We’re willing to hazard a guess that many of these people don’t realise the changes that smoking can bring about in your dental health as well as your physical health, which is why our dentist has put together this brief warning against regularly smoking.
How smoking affects your gums
Smoking alters the pH balance in your mouth, creating an environment that encourages the growth of bacteria and plaque. These combined can build up on your teeth’s surfaces far quicker than they would in a non-smoker and irritate your gums. Because the pH in your mouth has changed, the plaque present can harden into tartar and cause further gum irritation even to the point that it threatens your natural teeth. What’s more, smoking affects the level of oxygen that is present in your blood (it noticeably lowers it), which impairs your gums’ healing. Your dentist wants you to be aware that the increased presence of plaque and tartar through the changes brought about by smoking can worsen gum disease and even threaten adult tooth loss. You may need a professional cleaning with your dental hygienist before your dentist assesses whether any teeth are in immediate jeopardy.
How smoking stains your teeth
Your dentist wants you to be aware that smoking stains your teeth with stubborn yellow and brown patches. Just like your skin, your teeth have tiny pores that absorb the coloured chemicals in cigarette smoke such as nicotine and tar. It’s these two chemicals that stain your teeth, which is why even smokeless cigarettes like e-cigarettes and vape pens can cause staining. These stains can be extremely stubborn to remove as they develop over time and can be difficult for cosmetic teeth whitening to remove.
How smoking affects your breath
Regularly smoking is synonymous with smoker’s breath, which sadly is unpleasant and an unpleasant reminder of where the smoke goes once inhaled. Your lungs are made up of tiny spongey membranes called bronchioles that contain tiny passageways for your inhaled air to pass through. The membranous walls of the bronchioles’ passageways absorb the oxygen and deposits it in your blood. When you inhale cigarette smoke, the smoke gets trapped in these passageways while the harmful toxins are absorbed into the blood. These smoke particles gather in your lung membranes and are only knocked loose by exhaling, laughing, and talking. This is why smoker’s breath can often smell stale, because it is old smoke that comes out on your breath. You’ll need a dental hygienist appointment to begin to freshen your breath, let alone an appointment with your dentist to assess tooth damage.
Visit your dentist
For advice on how to quit smoking to better your dental health, speak to your dentist in Farringdon today. Here at Zero Seven Dental Practice London, we provide empathetic and confidential care to all of our patients. Enquire with us on 020 7253 7667.