Smoking cigarettes or any other tobacco products harm your entire body due to the excessive consumption of nicotine content. Primarily, nicotine is known for being a highly addictive chemical compound found in a tobacco plant. When your body is excessively exposed to this compound, you may be at risk of developing serious health conditions, including dental issues. Generally, the most common effects of smoking include teeth discoloration, bad breath, and many more.
If you’re still not convinced, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s an overview of the effects you’ll have to deal with due to nicotine consumption.
1. Retreating Gums
For your gums to remain healthy, they always need adequate nutrients and oxygen. However, smoking lowers blood flow through the vein, which, in turn, affects your gums and teeth. The long-term use of nicotine will cause the death of the gum tissues, leading to gum recession.
Severe receding of your gums makes you more susceptible to the likelihood of cavities and tooth sensitivity. In extreme cases, you’ll risk ending up losing your teeth altogether. Moreover, the continued consumption of nicotine lowers the ability of your mouth to defend against disease, thereby causing different dental problems such as retreating gums.
Unfortunately, dealing with dental problems, such as this one in New Zealand or wherever you may be, can be very expensive as it involves a considerable amount of dental costs. So, if you don’t want to pay a lot of money and suffer from the effects of retreating gums, it’s time to manage your nicotine consumption.
2. Slower Healing Process
Your body’s cells need enough oxygen during any healing process. But if you’re a regular smoker, the oxygen levels in your bloodstream are considerably lower. This means that you’ll take longer to recover from a dental condition or illness that needs to be rectified through surgery, such as root canals, dental extractions, and tooth removals.
In addition to this prolonged healing duration, nicotine use also makes you more susceptible to developing gum infections since they aren’t able to heal correctly.
3. Tooth Decay
This is another issue you need to worry about if you’re a regular smoker. The decaying of your tooth will be noticeable since you’ll notice large cavities in the gum, which weakens your teeth and increases the chances of disease.
Additionally, by smoking, signs of tooth decay will start to show, and you’ll increase your chances of broken teeth, both of which are very painful. Not to mention that you’ll spend a considerable sum of money to ensure the dentist takes care of the gum and your teeth.
Nicotine usually performs like a muscle stimulant. These effects trigger you to start grinding your teeth, which is worse if you already developed the tooth grinding habit before.
The continuous clenching and gritting of your teeth, on top of causing tooth damage, lead to other oral health issues.
5. Gum Disease
Just like how smoking can affect your skin, excessive consumption of nicotine may also cause gum disease. This condition is caused by a bacterial growth that’s present in the mouth. These bacteria take time before they start affecting the gums, but symptoms will start to show after a while. Although some people are more likely to develop a periodontal illness, the use of nicotine increases the likelihood of it developing further in your mouth.
The common signs to look out for include red and bleeding gums that are easily irritable and your mouth being generally sore. Also, there are cases when gum disease develops if the gums appear to be receding. You’ll also start seeing blood on your saliva or each time after brushing, which is an early sign of gingivitis. If gingivitis isn’t promptly or properly treated, it’ll worsen to periodontitis–a condition where the bone and inner gum layers start to detach from your teeth.
In addition to that, here are some common signs of gum disease you’ll experience:
- Pain while chewing
- Weakened teeth
- Swollen and red teeth
- Gums detaching from your teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Excessive bleeding while brushing your teeth
Fortunately, your can stop the progression of gum disease. However, this will only be a success if you stop using nicotine completely or else risk the worsening of your condition.
6. Bone Damage
In cases when the periodontal infection isn’t quickly addressed, the disease will start to gradually affect your bones and tissues, making them weaker. Bone damage is, in most cases, almost impossible to reverse. If it worsens, it may reach a point whereby restorative surgery and grafts are the only viable remedy.
7. Teeth Discoloration
Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can quickly turn your teeth from glistening white to yellow or brown, which still happens even if you’re a light smoker. But the more you smoke, the faster teeth discoloration happens.
8. Increases Chances of Oral Cancer
Research shows that persons who smoke are highly likely to develop different types of cancer, including oral, lung, and throat. Therefore, you should stop the smoking habit altogether to safeguard yourself from suffering cancer.
9. Dry Mouth
The continued use of nicotine lowers the presence of saliva in your mouth. This lack of saliva is known to promote a higher number of bacteria and plaque buildup. Over time, this condition worsens and leads to tooth decay, which means that your gums become weak and your teeth start breaking down. Also, due to the increased number of bacteria because of dry mouth, you start having foul breath.
The use of nicotine products means there’s a higher chance that you’ll suffer from oral infection. This means that you need to put in greater effort to ensure your mouth is less likely to develop any of these conditions by brushing at least twice a day. In addition, you’ll need to frequently go to the dentist for checkups and cleanups to prevent any of these issues from worsening. But, if possible, the best solution would be to stop smoking.
If you had your doubts about whether nicotine use affects your health, reading this guide has helped dispel that motion. With this in mind, you’ll be better placed to decide whether to reduce nicotine consumption or quit smoking altogether.