Smoking and Oral Health

October 12, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

If you’re a smoker, you’ve probably heard the risks and dangers of smoking tobacco products. Smoking can affect the entire body, including the heart, lungs, and even the mouth. But even if you know the risks, you may not know the whole story. Here are just a few ways smoking poses a threat to your oral health, and to your daily life.

Teeth

In addition to giving you medical problems, smoking can cause cosmetic problems, too. This includes stains and discoloration to the teeth which may be difficult to remove, even with professional whitening treatments. Thankfully, full mouth reconstruction products such as veneers may be able to help by covering stains, fixing chips and cracks and giving you a whiter brighter smile once you quit smoking.

Breath

Smoking is notorious for causing bad breath, thanks to the chemicals in cigarettes. Brushing and flossing may be a temporary fix, but the more you smoke, the worse your breath will get, so quitting is a great idea if you want fresh breath.

Gums

Smoking can damage gum tissue, causing gum disease, which can lead to bone loss, gum tissue loss, and tooth loss. Teeth can be replaced via full mouth reconstruction products such as dental implants, but quitting smoking can help you save your natural teeth.

Sleep

Wondering what smoking has to do with sleep, and what sleep has to do with your mouth? Smoking heavily has been recently linked to obstructive sleep apnea, a condition which causes your breathing to stop and restart throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea lowers your blood oxygen levels, and heavy smoking raises your apnea‐hypopnea index (AHI). In fact, in a recent study in the Clinical Respiratory Journal, researchers found that the AHI of heavy smokers was raised by 15.3%, meaning that smoking cigarettes makes obstructive sleep apnea worse.

If You Smoke

If you are a smoker, now is the perfect time to quit. Quitting smoking is great for your overall as well as your oral health. If you have smoked and are looking for ways to restore your smile to a more youthful, pre-smoking smile, full mouth reconstruction can help. Veneers and implants can help get you the smile you want, and get you back to a healthy mouth. To learn more about your full mouth reconstruction options, or to learn about how your sleep apnea solution options, please contact Dr. Mingus at 541-382-6565.