Smoking can cause a large amount of damage to your mouth, teeth and gums. Smoking can cause teeth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases can lead to mouth cancer.
Teeth Staining – due to the nicotine and tar in tobacco, smoking can make your teeth yellow in a very short period of time and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking.
Gum disease – people who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which can cause gum disease. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so infected gums are very slow to heal. Due to the higher levels of plaque and reduced oxygen, gum disease will develop more quickly in smokers than it does in non-smokers. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK.
Cancer – Smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.
It is therefore important that you visit the dentist for regular routine appointments to ensure that any problems can be identified early and treated quickly. The dentist will also be able to put you in touch with organisations and groups that can help you to quit smoking.