Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can be very detrimental to your health. Smoking is known to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, and emphysema. But a lot of people are unaware that smoking can have a serious impact on their teeth. According to a NYC cosmetic dentist, smoking can cause your teeth to become yellow, increase your risk for periodontal disease which causes tooth loss, can give you oral cancer and can impair the recovery time for any other dental work you might need.

Cigarettes contain many hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, tar and the addictive drug nicotine. As soon as you take one puff of a lit cigarette, residues from these chemicals are left on your teeth. The more nicotine and tar in the cigarette the more residues are left behind on your teeth. When this residue continues to build up, your teeth become stained and develop a yellowish hue. 

Besides turning your teeth yellow, the residue that builds up can go below your gum line. Bacteria feed off of this plaque releasing an acid that destroys your gum tissue. Over time the gums recede from the teeth exposing their roots, which can lead to tooth loss.

One of the most dangerous health impacts that smoking and tobacco products can have on your oral health is the development of oral cancer.  Oral cancer rarely occurs in non-smoker and non-tobacco users. If you are a smoker, make sure to look for early symptoms of oral cancer such as chronic sores that bleed, red and white spots, numbness in your lips, crusty areas in your mouth, difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your tongue and a shift in your jaw, bite or smile.

Tobacco products and cigarettes also effect any future dental treatments that you may need. The lack of blood flow from the tobacco to your gums prevents orthodontic treatment from being successful. It also causes the healing time from things such as tooth extractions, dental implants and other procedures to take longer. Since cigarette smokers are more prone to root canals, these simple procedures can be very dangerous to a tobacco user. Also, smoking causes your lips and cheeks to develop sores.

Quitting smoking does reduce some of the harmful effects of tobacco on your gums over time. But the damage from tobacco use may already be done. Visit a NYC cosmetic dentist for a dental examination to check for any signs of tooth discoloration, gum disease and oral cancer.