Regularly smoking or chewing tobacco can damage your teeth and gums. While breaking the habit can be mentally and physically challenging, you could bypass some serious aesthetic and possibly life-threatening consequences. If you already have damaged teeth, cosmetic dentistry could be the most viable solution.
Problem: Stained Teeth
When you chew tobacco or smoke, you will significantly increase the risk of discolouring your teeth. In most circumstances, the staining will be a result of concentrated exposure; therefore, the stain will likely reside where you hold the cigarette or chewing tobacco in your mouth. This often gives the teeth a blotchy appearance.
Solution: Whitening or Veneers
In the event of light or moderate staining, time will most likely heal the problem. Switch to a whitening toothpaste and give the effected area a little more attention than usual. If the problem persists or you have extensive staining, porcelain veeners can be placed over the surface.
Problem: Tooth Decay
According to Gordon Dental, smokers are four times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than non-smokers. Smoking restricts the veins and arteries around the teeth and jaw, making it harder for oxygen-rich blood to reach the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth decay and possibly even the loss of teeth.
Solution: Dental Implants
If you still have a healthy jaw and gum tissue, you could get dental implants. This process involves placing a titanium rod into the jaw and affixing a crown to the post. Dental implants look and function exactly like real teeth.
Problem: Acute Tissue Inflammation
When you have dental surgery, be it medical or cosmetic, and smoke or chew tobacco, you could suffer from acute tissue inflammation (peri implantitis) where the procedure took place. Peri implantitis occurs when bacteria penetrates the oral cavities. The infection can eventually cause bone degradation and early loss of implants.
Solution: Cleaning and Surgical Therapy
Peri implantitis does not respond well to professional cleaning when it has taken form. However, depending on the level of bone loss, antibiotics may be effective. In most cases, spotting the warning signs – redness, swelling and bleeding gums – and switching to an antiseptic mouthwash should keep the infection at bay. In severe circumstances, surgical therapy may be the only solution.
Porcelain veeners, bleaching and dental implants will eventually discolour and erode if you continue smoking or chewing tobacco. You may need further treatment or more procedures later on down the road. If you have any questions, consider contacting a local dentist to discuss your concerns.