According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 36 million smokers live in the United States. This works out to be approximately 15% of the population.
Teeth are hurt from tobacco in several ways. Your mouth is left defenseless against bacteria due to the decreased ability for fighting infections caused by cigarettes. This leads to the festering of bacteria and plaque.
Stained or yellow teeth are obvious signs of a smoker. Over time teeth stain from the chemicals in tobacco. Teeth whitening treatments can slow the staining process down. However, it is impossible to entirely reverse or stop it if you continue to smoke.
Smokers are twice as susceptible to gum disease than nonsmokers. Treatment for gum disease on smokers does not work as well as on nonsmokers.
Bacteria festering on your teeth due to smoking eventually works its way to the gums. When left untreated, gums pull away from your teeth leading to weakened bones structures. In the most severe cases, it is known as periodontitis resulting in loss of teeth.
Bacteria overgrowth caused from smoking leads to horrible smelling breath. Unfortunately, brushing and mouth wash is unable to rid your mouth of this smell because it comes from decay, oral sores, and gum disease. The only remedy for this is to quit smoking for good and see a dentist about underlying problems caused by smoking.
Oral cancer is the most serious issue caused by smoking. Symptoms begin as a red or white patch in the mouth combined with swallowing or chewing difficulty, jaw numbness, and possible ear pain. If experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended you see a medical professional.
The best possible solution to smoking related dental problems is to quit smoking. You and your dentist can work together on a treatment plan to alleviate these issues.