How Smoking Affects Your Teeth and Gums

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Everyone knows that smoking tobacco has long term physical health ramifications.  Doctors have been saying for decades that quitting smoking will add years to your life expectancy.  Smoking has ramifications for oral health as well.  Tobacco contains irritants that inflame the sensitive tissues of your mouth and increase your chances of tooth loss. Whether you are an habitual smoker, or one who wants to quit, Anthony Martin Dentistry would like you to be informed about how smoking adversely affects your teeth and gums.

Oral Health Issues Caused by Smoking:

The following oral health issues are associated with smoking:

  • Dental discoloration  Your tooth enamel may appear to have a solid structure, but it is actually quite porous. When you smoke your tooth enamel absorbs the dark pigments of the tobacco, discoloring your teeth.

  • Bad breath   Smoking can cause a reduction in the amount of saliva that your mouth produces. Since saliva helps wash away odor-causing plaque and oral bacteria, smokers are more likely to have bad breath.

  • Gum disease   Your periodontal (gum) tissues are sensitive to irritants, including those found in tobacco. As the gums become inflamed, they may show signs of gingivitis, including swelling and bleeding   In addition, as the inflammation increases and periodontitis ensues, pockets form around the gum line, allowing the entry of bacteria. The resulting gum infections are difficult to resolve in smokers; because in addition to causing ongoing irritation, smoking limits the blood supply and oxygen flow to the tissues.

  • Tooth loss  Periodontal disease, which is associated with smoking, can result in bone loss. As the jawbone shrinks, teeth can begin to loosen in their sockets and eventually require extraction.

  • Oral Cancer   Smoking is associated with an increased incidence of cancers, including those of the throat, mouth, larynx and esophagus.

  • Tooth decay  Dry mouth from smoking can allow the bacterial population within your mouth to increase. As a result, the amount of bacterial acid in your oral cavity may also rise, causing an increase in tooth decay.

The Anthony Martin Dentistry team truly cares about your dental well-being for a lifetime. We can help you with your candy habit, your ice-chewing habit and other common lifestyle choices which affect your oral health in the short run and as you age. To make an appointment with us, please contact us at (757) 886-0300 or request an appointment online. We look forward to meeting you at our comfortable and welcoming Yorktown office.

By |2017-10-25T07:24:19+00:00October 1st, 2017|BLOG|0 Comments


Anthony Martin Dentistry is proud to serve the many military families who use military insurance programs for their dental health needs. We believe that every family should have access to the best dental care. That is why we are proud to be an in-network provider for all military insurance plans! We find it very rewarding to be able to serve our heroes and their families.

Call us at 757-886-0300 to schedule your appointment today!