Are you looking for a little extra motivation to put out that cigarette? Just look to the many ways in which smoking can impact your oral health! Here are just five of the reasons why quitting smoking will improve the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.
1. Keep your teeth looking pearly white.
If you’re a smoker, you may have noticed your teeth don’t look as white as they used to. This is because two of the ingredients in cigarettes are known for causing tooth discoloration. Nicotine, for starters, can give your teeth a yellowish tint. The second staining ingredient is tar, which gets trapped in the grooves on the outer surfaces of your teeth. Over time, tar begins to stain your teeth a dark brown color. When you quit smoking, you eliminate these harmful ingredients from your system and give yourself the opportunity to regain their whiteness.
2. Get more enjoyment out of your meals.
Did you know that smoking can impede your sense of taste? Studies have shown that smoking damages your taste receptors, making them flatter and less capable of tasting your foods and beverages. Bitter taste receptors are particularly at risk of this damage, so it could make bitter foods and beverages like coffee less enjoyable. This damage cannot be reversed, so it is important to quit smoking sooner rather than later.
3. Freshen your breath.
There are actually a couple reasons why quitting smoking will improve your breath. For starters, when you smoke cigarettes, the smoke lingers in your lungs and leaves an unpleasant odor. Secondly, smoking impacts your body’s natural ability to produce saliva. Saliva is critical for washing away food debris and bacteria that can worsen the smell of your breath. Therefore, quitting smoking helps you to restore your saliva production and keep odor-causing bacteria at bay.
4. Fight off cavities.
When smoking inhibits your saliva production, it can actually have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Saliva is critical for washing away plaque and remineralizing your dental enamel. When saliva production is diminished as a result of smoking, however, plaque flourishes on your teeth and slowly wears away your dental enamel. Ultimately, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities. By quitting smoking, you will be able to better protect your pearly whites.
5. Keep your gums in good health.
Gum disease is a very serious risk for smokers. Not only does your risk for gum disease directly correlate with the amount you smoke, but it is also more difficult to treat the illness in smokers. When you smoke, your immune system is depleted. This allows harmful bacteria to flourish on your gums and cause an infection known as gingivitis—the first stage of gum disease. Luckily, this very serious disease is easily prevented when you quit your tobacco usage!
Are you a smoker looking to restore your oral health? Schedule your next dental check-up today! Call Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to book your appointment.