Nowadays, it is common knowledge that tobacco has a detrimental effect on health. During last decades, there are countless published researches warning against this habit and the awareness-raising campaigns on which are the consequences of smoking are regular. However, as oral health and aesthetic specialists, we would like to stress the impact on your mouth and teeth.
Periodontal disease: tooth loss
¿Do you imagine yourself without teeth? Yes, it might happen. Periodontal disease is a chronic and progressive disease which affects the gums. As we have previously explained, periodontal disease can be considered as gingivitis or periodontitis, depending on the degree of affectation. In case the disorder reaches the periodontitis level the following symptoms might appear: gums-retraction, tooth mobility, tooth spacing, oversensitivity, gum-pain, gum boil, or even tooth loss.
Yes, smokers do have 3 times greater risk comparing to non-smokers. And worst of all, the way the respond to the treatment is much worse. 9 out of 10 unsuccessful treatments happen amongst people who smoke. Not only that, the risk of recurrence is far higher.
It is important to clarify that, strangely enough, smoking disguises the indicators that could give us a clue on suffering a periodontal disease. Tobacco use reduces the blood supply of gums; therefore, they do not look so swollen and gum-bleeding might not appear. As a consequence, alarms are not turned.
If tobacco consumption, which contains unlimited carcinogenic substances, is combined with drinking alcohol, the risk of suffering from oral cancer scales. Even if this pathology is not frequent, it presents a high mortality rate due to a late diagnosis. In the “best” case, the aftermaths smoking generates are severe and striking.
Dental implants’ rejection
Tobacco has an irritating effect and does not favor wound healing. This is why smoking is one of the principal reasons for rejecting dental implants, especially those ones from the upper jaw. Smokers double the rate of failure when it comes to these treatments. Moreover, tobacco is a risk factor for people with dental implants because they can suffer from periimplant diseases, I other words, an infection on the implant.
Caries, stains and bad breath
Smoking reduces our immune capacity, resulting in a saliva decrease and more bacteria. Tartar accumulates more easily and causes tooth decay more frequently.
On the other side, nicotine and tar tend to penetrate the inside of the tooth which provokes a yellowish or brownish tone. In case of suffering from halitosis for other reasons, smoking will only aggravate the condition. If not, bad breath might appear due to mouth dryness that contributes to oxygenation shortage and worse oral hygiene.