If you smoke, you probably already realize that cigarettes can turn your teeth a dingy yellow and cause bad breath; however, you may not be aware that smoking also increases your risk of serious oral health conditions, including:
- tooth loss caused by gum disease and a loss of bone structure,
- inflammation of the salivary glands,
- precancerous conditions of the mouth, and
- cancer of the mouth and throat.
Smoking can also lead to slower healing and other complications following dental work. Some dentists may even decline to perform certain procedures, such as implants, on smokers because of the increased risk.
The American Dental Association recommends that smokers take the following steps to improve their oral health:
- Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programs or call your state-sponsored stop smoking hotline.
- Tell Dr. Petinge and our team that you are a smoker and request a screening for smoking-related oral health conditions.
- Maintain a strict home dental hygiene regimen that includes frequent brushing and flossing.
- Schedule frequent professional cleanings, and ask our team for tips to mitigate the harmful effects on your smile.