The Effects of Smoking on Your Teeth And Gums

Our Purley dentist looks at the problems caused by this addictive habit.

Although fewer people smoke now than was the case a number of years ago, perhaps due to a mixture of better health awareness, price and restrictions on places where you can smoke; there are still a significant number of people who continue to do so. These are also not only older people who have found it hard to quit, but also younger people who start smoking, perhaps due to peer pressure or the ‘cool factor’.

Perhaps if smokers were more widely aware of the damage that this habit can cause to their oral health, it would encourage them to think again.

Obvious signs

One of the most obvious signs of a smoker is their discoloured teeth. It is not surprising that some the tar containing smoke which swirls around the mouth manages to attach itself to our teeth. Over time, this leads to severe discolouration of the enamel. Whilst this discolouration can be partially rectified by cosmetic procedures which are available at our Purley dental practice; namely the teeth whitening procedure, or, in more severe cases, dental veneers, it is not the only damage that is caused.

Gum disease

One of the most pernicious effects that smoking has is to greatly increase the risk of gum disease and other infections. With gum disease being the biggest cause of tooth loss in the UK, this should not be taken lightly.

Gingival bacteria are known to thrive in a warm and dry environment; exactly the type of environment that a smoker’s mouth provides. This leads to an increase in the bacteria which are a major factor in gum disease. Once the bacteria are out of control, the gums come under attack, causing soreness and bleeding in many cases.

Advanced gum disease is even more serious and can lead to periodontitis, where the bone in the jaw is attacked, causing teeth to become loose and fall out. Whilst gum disease treatment is available at Confidental Clinic, prevention through good oral health care and regular examinations by one of our Purley dentists is a far preferable route to take.

Dental implants

Patients who have had dental implants placed should also stop smoking if they do not wish to lose their new long lasting replacement teeth. Like natural teeth, dental implants include a tooth ‘root’, and, if the bone is attacked, are equally at risk of becoming loose and falling out.

Regular dental checks are always available at Confidental Clinic in Purley.  Whilst these are important for all patients, smokers especially should ensure that they have their teeth checked on a regular basis.

To book an appointment, please call us on 020 8660 8923.