You probably already know that smoking, vaping, and using other tobacco products can lead to a range of health issues, from heart disease to lung cancer and more. Despite this, an estimated 28.3 million American adults still smoke. At ZDental, we encourage all our patients who smoke to quit as soon as possible, not only to prevent the potentially fatal health issues listed above but to improve their oral health as well. If you smoke, we think New Year’s 2024 is the perfect opportunity to make a resolution to quit smoking. Here are some of the effects that smoking has on your oral health:

Smoking and Oral Cancers

The highly carcinogenic compounds in cigarette smoke are well known to cause cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat. These cancers can also be caused by smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and pouches. By quitting smoking this year, you will cut your risk of developing cancer of the mouth or esophagus in half by New Year’s 2028.

Tobacco Use and Gum Disease

Smoking and tobacco use greatly reduce your blood circulation and immune response, leaving your gums less able to fight infections in the mouth. The carcinogens in cigarette smoke and tobacco products also damage the gum tissue and can cause the gums to recede. Once your gums start to pull away from the teeth, it exposes their sensitive roots and gives bacteria an easy pathway into the bloodstream. All these factors combine to increase the tobacco user’s risk of developing gum disease by double. In addition, known treatments for gum disease are less effective in tobacco users.

Smoking and Tooth Loss

Along with doubling your risk of gum disease, smoking also doubles your risk of tooth loss. The same factors that cause gum disease can lead to severe tooth infections and gum recession that can cause you to lose one tooth or even multiple teeth. It will also take you much longer to heal after a tooth removal if you smoke, and you run the risk of developing a painful dry socket if you smoke during the healing process.

Yellowing Teeth and Smoking

At our dental clinics in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we frequently see patients who are interested in teeth whitening treatments due to smoking. While it is not necessarily a health issue, yellowing and staining of the teeth can be caused by smoking and other tobacco use. This affects your self-esteem, making it more difficult to feel confident about the appearance of your smile. If you do not yet have noticeable yellowing of your teeth, quitting smoking today will prevent it. If you already have yellowing or staining, giving up tobacco in 2024 will stop the problem from getting worse, and you can receive teeth whitening treatments knowing that your results will last for years to come.

Dental Offices in Bensalem, PA

If you plan on quitting smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco in 2024, your dentist and other medical professionals may be able to help. Your medical team can provide resources to help you quit, and your dentist can monitor any issues that you may be experiencing from your past tobacco use. The team at ZDental can even help you reduce the appearance of yellowing and stains with teeth whitening in the Philadelphia area. Visit our contact page for a list of our 7 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, then call or click “request an appointment” to schedule your next checkup today!