Article published by : James W Collins on Thursday, July 28, 2016 - Viewed 510 times

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Category : Dental Care

Dental Problems Caused by Cigarette Smoking



Cigarette smoking is addicting. This is the main reason why smokers find it extremely difficult to let go of smoking, even with an awareness of the health risks posed by this habit. Once started, smoking can quickly be habit-forming. For some people, it may take almost a lifetime to be able to quite a nicotine addiction. It is common to hear of long-time smokers quitting, and eventually going back to their old ways for their nicotine fix. Aside from the health problems – such as cancer – associated with cigarette smoking, this habit can also pose serious problems on one’s dental health.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products may result to unsightly teeth stains. The ingredients found in cigarettes can harm the smile by seeping underneath the surface of the teeth, causing conspicuous darkening or yellowing. Those who have been smoking for a long time often have old-looking teeth, especially if good dental health habits are not practised. Nicotine stains are not easily removed, and can only be eliminated with professional dental cleaning. Teeth that are darkened due to cigarette smoking can also be improved with the help of a teeth whitening treatment. If a whitening treatment is unable to remove the stains on the surface of the teeth, a cosmetic dentistry treatment with veneers can be used to improve the appearance of the smile.

Bad breath is another dental problem that can be directly caused, or at least aggravated by, smoking cigarettes. When the chemicals in cigarettes mix with the natural environment inside the mouth, the most common result is a foul smell. The problem is magnified if smoking is done after eating food items that have strong smells (such as garlic or onions), or after drinking coffee. Bad breath in these instances can be intense, especially if tooth brushing, flossing, or gargling with mouthwash is not done after smoking.

The gums which support the teeth are also harmed by a smoking habit. Gum tissue becomes weak when regularly exposed to the chemicals found in tobacco products. When the gums become weak, they become more susceptible to infections and may eventually lack the strength to fully support the teeth. Gum disease can result to loosening of the teeth, and may even harm the dental implants which have been placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. In addition, smokers may have an increased oral cancer risk because of the regular exposure to nicotine and harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.

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By: James W Collins

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