Smoking And Dental Health

cigarettesIn 2012, over 42 million adults smoked in the US alone. The US spends nearly $133 billion in medical costs for adult smokers.  Smoking causes a host of ailments including bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction, diabetes, emphysema, stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Smoking affects oral health, too. People who smoke or “chew” smokeless tobacco, commonly known as chewing tobacco, are four times more likely to develop cancer in the oral cavity. Smoking also causes bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease and tooth loss. If you’re a smoker, schedule an appointment with your Ankeny, IA, family dentist, Dr. Ericka Peddicord, for a professional cleaning and a consultation on how to care for your teeth.

Effects of Smoking

In addition to bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease, and tooth loss, smoking can cause shrinking gums that lead to bone loss. Your mouth is the first line of defense against smoking. Your teeth and gums get the full blast of nicotine. Yellowing teeth and bad breath are minor effects compared to periodontal disease. Research indicates that smokers are seven times more likely to get periodontal disease, and that 75% of those with the disease are smokers. Smoking can cause:

  • Irritation To Gum Tissue: Resulting in redness, swelling, and infection.
  •  Interference With Gum Cell Function: This may affect healing.
  • Reduced Blood Flow To The Gums: Blood circulation to your mouth and gums has been shown to decrease by 70% while smoking a cigarette. With blood flow come nutrients that are important to the health of your gums, such as vitamin C. The lack of nutrients encourages gum disease, causing the gums to recede or pull back from the teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay. It also may affect healing.
  • Reduced Saliva: The minerals in saliva help keep your mouth clean, and rebuild enamel on your teeth, preventing tooth decay.
  • Increased Temperature In Your Mouth: Heat can kill healthy cells in your mouth.
  • Bone Loss: Research has shown that smoking causes significant bone loss over time.
  • Decrease In Taste And Smell: Over the years, tar from the nicotine builds up on your tongue and nasal passages, diminishing these two senses.

About Your Ankeny Dentist

Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. If you have questions regarding the effects of smoking on your oral health, Dr. Peddicord can answer your questions and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please contact us at 515-963-3339. Our Ankeny, IA, office proudly provides general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients from Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.