According to the statistics revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 16% of the people who smoke have a poor oral health which is double that of former smokers (8%) and about four times more than that for people who have never smoked (4%) in their life.
Of the total number of current smokers, about 35% have three or more oral health problems. Even among the adults aged 18-64 years, non-smokers registered better oral health numbers than smokers.
Unfortunately, the agony doesn’t end here. About 19% of smokers had not visited a dentist in the last five years, according to the CDC report, and 56% of them said that the reason for this was that they couldn’t afford it.
Effect of Smoking on Teeth and Gums
Yellow Teeth: The nicotine and tar in tobacco stains the teeth, which leads to yellow teeth in almost no time. People who are addicted to smoking have also revealed that their teeth almost turned brown after a few years. Sadly, this is just the beginning of what is about to come.
Gum Diseases: Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and also has an impact on how your teeth connect to your gums. It can lead to serious gum diseases and once the damage is done, it also makes it harder for you to heal.
Increases the Growth of Bacteria: Regular smoking promotes the growth of bacteria and plaque in the mouth, and can lead to decay resulting in cavities, say Dr. Gary E. Horblitt, who has experience of over three decades in prosthodontics. Plaque can also weaken the bone supporting the teeth.
Scaly Teeth: If plaque stays on your teeth for a long period of time, it hardens into a scaly substance called tartar. This again can lead to receding gums and many gum diseases.
Bad Breath: ‘Smoker’s breath’ is the term given to the typical odor that is emitted from the mouth of habitual smokers. Cigarettes leave behind some particles in the mouth and throat, which are the reason for this type of bad breath.
Oral Cancer: If you had the impulse to ignore any of the damage mentioned above, you simply can’t ignore this one. The thousands of chemicals present in each cigarette drastically increase the risk of cancer. Not just that, it also makes you vulnerable to many other diseases.
It doesn’t matter how many times you visit a dentist or how many medicines you take, you cannot win this war unless you decide to give up smoking. Get back that brilliant smile and give your loved ones something to smile about too.