Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

February 15, 2023

Smoking and dental health have a close connection. Smokeless tobacco and smoking use lead to damage to the gums and teeth. It also increases the risk of tooth loss, mouth cancer, gum problems, and complications after dental surgery. Moreover, the infection in the mouth of smokers takes more time to heal as compared to that of non-smokers.

That is why it is pivotal for people who smoke to see the Gilbert dentist daily. The expert will maintain the gum and teeth health in optimal shape and check the signs of oral cancer. Read below to know the smoking effect on the mouth and throat.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Mouth?

According to The Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of smokers have at least three oral health problems. It can lead to the following mouth conditions or diseases:

Bad Breath, Taste, and Discoloration

Smoking affects your ability to taste and smell. It can also lead to discoloration of teeth, dentures, and fillings. The worst part is that the discoloration is even more from the intake of tea and coffee.

Mouth Cancer

Smoking causes harm to cells in the mouth, resulting in cancer. Even many studies have shown that smokers are more prone to the risk of mouth cancer than non-smokers. This risk even becomes higher when a person consumes a high amount of tobacco.

In fact, mixing excess alcohol and smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer. It’s because alcohol enhances the permeability of epithelium inside the mouth. It also blends a few harmful compounds in tobacco smoke (that are associated with cancer).

Increase the Chances of Decay

Smoking encourages the flow of saliva. It also minimizes PH slightly means a high risk of dental erosion and tooth decay. Research has claimed that the two bacteria – Lactobacillus spp and Streptococcus mutans are more associated with tooth decay than non-smokers.

Causes Implant Failure

The success of dental implants is much less in smokers than in non-smokers. Usually, the failure rate in smokers is 11%. However, that in non-smokers is 5%. Tobacco smoking affects the gums around the dental implant. It results in delayed healing or even failure.

Gum Disease

Did you know smokers are 2.5 – 3.5 times more prone to getting serious gum diseases? Yes, it’s true. They also lose more teeth as compared to non-smokers. One research has shown that serious gum disease in smokers is due to bad dental hygiene.

The professional at Smiles of Gilbert Dentistry says gum issues get worse with smoking. The effects of smoking on gum infection usually rely on the duration and quantity.

Smoker’s Melanosis

Other effects of smoking include Smoker’s Melanosis. The condition occurs in 5% to 21.5% of smokers. Smokers’ Melanosis causes pigmentation in the mouth and usually stimulates melanin production. In fact, the amount of pigmentation enhances in heavy smokers.

Oral Thrush

Smoking disturbs the oral cavity and results in the overgrowth of the natural yeast in the mouth (known as candida). This infection is known as oral thrush. An individual with thrush usually experiences white patches on the inner walls of the cheek and tongue.

Smokers Palate

A smoker’s palate is a condition that can by smoking. During this, the palate turns white. Also, patients experience many small red spots at the center of the mouth that lands at the opening of the gland duct. The condition occurs due to the chemical and heat irritation from tobacco use.

It also has other names like stomatitis nicotina, smoker’s keratosis, and nicotinic stomatitis. Smoker’s palates are usually common in reverse cigarette smokers and pipe smokers.

Coated Tongue

A coated tongue is a condition where a person has a colored layer in the mouth. This layer usually consists of bacteria, food bits, and grime.

Dry Mouth

Smokers also experience dry mouth. It increases the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Less saliva also increases the risk of gum issues and cavity formation.

How Long for Gums to Heal After Quitting Smoking?

When an individual stops smoking, he/she does not recover overnight. The dentist near you will usually suggest following a good dental hygiene routine and some time to regain a healthy set of teeth and gums.

Also, smoking makes the immune system weak. It damages the potential of an individual to heal fast and fight bacteria. Typically, it can take one year to notice improvements after smoking.