You know smoking is bad for you, but giving up an addiction is often easier said than done. The reason quitting is so hard is because addiction has many layers. With smoking, your body becomes physically dependent on nicotine which alters the neurological pathways in your brain. Over time, can become a part of your identity and even help you cope with stress.
You’re aware of the ways smoking impacts your overall health. But, did you know it also impacts your oral health?
How smoking impacts your dental health:
Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease. Gum disease is a chronic infection of gum tissue. If left untreated, gum disease can cause chronic bad breath (halitosis) and tooth loss. Your risk increases more with every cigarette and year you continue to smoke.
Smoking increases your risk for cancer. In the United States, tobacco use is linked to nearly one-third of all cancer cases. Oral, or mouth, cancer accounts for nearly 4 percent of new cancer diagnoses.
Smoking yellows your teeth. The smoke you inhale contains nicotine and tar particles which are easily absorbed by your teeth. Our teeth are porous, kind of like our skin, and these particles change their color. Even e-cigarettes can stain your teeth. Professional teeth whitening is only a temporary solution.
You deserve a healthy body and smile. Kicking your smoking habit is a great start to enjoying a lifetime of good overall health.
How smoking cessation benefits your dental health:
Smoking cessation lowers your risk for gum disease. Gum disease is linked to many systemic illnesses, including heart disease. Preventing gum disease keeps your mouth and body healthier.
Smoking cessation lowers your risk of cancer. Smoking is linked to 30 percent of all cancer deaths. A little over 2 percent of cancer deaths are from oral cancer.
Smoking cessation improves your smile. Non-smokers are more likely to keep their teeth as they age. They also report having fresher breath and whiter teeth.
Giving up an addiction can be challenging. But, you don’t have to do it alone. Discuss smoking cessation programs with your doctor or dentist. They’ll help get you on the path to a healthier you.
Don’t have a dentist? Use our Find a Dentist tool to search for one near you.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States.” 2015.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss.” 2015.
Oral Cancer Foundation. “The Tobacco Connection.”