There are many factors that go into keeping your teeth and gums healthy. You should brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. You should floss every day and rinse with mouthwash. You should visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam. You should load up on foods like dairy and leafy greens — and eliminate gummy sweets and sodas. And if you smoke, you should stop.

We don’t have to tell you that smoking is bad for you, leading to cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and all sorts of bad effects on your body. Tobacco also wreaks havoc on your oral health specifically.

If you do smoke, it’s especially important that you get professional dental cleanings and exams on a regular basis — to clean off plaque and tartar and spot problems before they grow. If you live in Royal Oak, MI and would like to book an appointment, call North Oaks Dental at 248-712-1522 (Royal Oak) 248-963-1969 (New Hudson) or fill out our online form.

Tobacco Stains Your Teeth

Did you know that your teeth have pores? That’s right, and when you smoke, tar and nicotine enter these tiny holes and gradually lead to yellow or even brown teeth. Even though nicotine is colorless on its own, it turns yellow when it combines with oxygen. So even electronic cigarettes can cause teeth staining.

Tobacco Makes Your Breath Smell Bad

Smoker’s breath is real — and really unpleasant. If you smoke, it’s evident to anyone who gets close to you. Smoking also decreases saliva flow in your mouth, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria, which is another contributor to halitosis.

Tobacco May Give You Oral Cancer

You are probably aware that smoking is a huge risk factor for developing lung cancer, but that’s not the only cancer that tends to afflict smokers. If you use tobacco products, you are much more likely to develop cancer of the mouth, throat, cheeks, lips, or gums than people who don’t use tobacco products.

Tobacco Decreases Saliva Flow

The chemicals in cigarettes affect the saliva flow in your mouth. Saliva is essential for rinsing away food particles and bacteria and keeping your mouth clean. If you don’t have enough of it, you are at risk for an increased buildup of decay-causing bacteria, plaque, and tartar in your mouth.

Tobacco Raises Your Risk for Gum Disease

Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have gum disease. Gum disease is an infection, and smokers are especially susceptible because they have compromised immune systems. Plus they have less saliva, which enables a buildup of harmful bacteria. And smokers’ gum disease tends to be much more difficult to treat.

Tobacco Decreases Your Ability to Heal

When smokers have oral surgery and other procedures, they tend to take longer to heal than their non-smoking counterparts. They also have a higher failure rate when it comes to dental implants.

If you are ready to stop smoking, the CDC has resources to help you get started. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s critical to get regular dental checkups. Call 248-712-1522 (Royal Oak) 248-963-1969 (New Hudson) to book an appointment at North Oaks Dental of Royal Oak, MI. You may also reach us through our online form.