About Your Teeth How does smoking affect my teeth and gums? - About Your Teeth

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How does smoking affect my teeth and gums?


A little know fact about smoking is that it tends to disguise the damage being done to teeth and gums.

The damage

Usually infected gums are red, swollen and bleed easily when they are brushed. Smokers’ gums are not like this – they are pale and thin and do not bleed readily. This can hide the presents of dental disease and in particular gum disease. A delay in addressing this disease may lead to soft tissue and bone loss that may eventually cause you to lose your teeth.

The effects of nicotine often mask the signs of the disease and problems can go undetected for years until they become quite and advanced. At this stage it may not be possible to reverse the effects.

Nicotine also affect the production of saliva which normally counteracts the effects of acid in food and drinks. As a result heavy smokers may get decay even if they are brushing well.

Smoking is also the leading cause of oral cancers.

What can you do

  • Quite smoking – its the only way to decrease the risk
  • Careful brushing and flossing to slow down the deterioration
  • Regular dental cleans and examinations

Smoking masks dental disease and is the leading cause of oral cancer

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