The consequences of smoking on teeth

Everyone is aware of the serious health consequences of smoking, especially for the lungs and heart. But we sometimes forget that the teeth and mouth of smokers are also very exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco.

Almost everyone knows that smoking causes staining and discolouration of the teeth, yet the effects of smoking on oral health tend to be ignored or downplayed. However, your teeth, gums, tongue and lips are also at risk with every puff of a cigarette; and the consequences can be serious.

Gum disease and caries

Smoking promotes the formation of bacterial plaque in the mouth, which increases the risk of periodontal disease (tooth decay). In addition, nicotine has been shown to alter the vascularity of the gums, which reduces the gum's ability to defend and repair itself. As a result, the body will find it more difficult to fight gum infection effectively. Compared to non-smokers, gum disease progresses at a faster rate in smokers.
All of this explains why the success rate in implantology is lower in smokers (80% - 85% in smokers VS 97% success rate for non-smokers).

See our fact sheet on implants.

We also have more surgical complications in smokers, especially after extraction...
Also, a smoker is likely to have three times more caries due to the increase in plaque caused by smoking.

See our fact sheet on caries prevention.

Bad breath or halitosis

Tobacco and bad breath are closely linked. But it is mainly the increased bacterial proliferation that causes this halitosis.

Stained teeth

The tar and nicotine present in cigarettes leave yellow or brownish stains on the teeth which can become permanent by penetrating the small cracks in the tooth enamel after several years of smoking.
Most of these so-called extrinsic stains can be removed with the help of air polishing, which is a high-pressure spray of bicarbonate, salts and water that removes these deposits. All our treatment rooms are equipped with this equipment (see here).
Over the years, these discolorations eventually penetrate the interior of the tooth and can only be reduced by professional bleaching at the dental surgery.

Consult our sheet on dental bleaching

Oral cancer

Of all the oral diseases linked to smoking, oral cancers are certainly the most serious. They manifest themselves in several forms: cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, palate, tonsils, gums and throat. The risk of oral cancer is 5 to 10 times higher in smokers. Mouth cancers affect 6,600 French people every year.

What solutions?

Of course, quitting smoking would ideally be the first thing to do, not only for the sake of your teeth but also and above all to preserve your health.
Alternatively, you can first visit your dentist for advice and care. Good oral hygiene on a daily basis is recommended. Brushing your teeth after each meal will help to eliminate as many bacteria as possible and to fight against dental plaque, which is the cause of caries and periodontitis.

Implantologist - Periodontologist in Versailles

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