There are few things that can make you feel confident when you go out into the world like a pretty and white smile that you can flash as a sign of happiness or even just a friendly hello. Unfortunately, if you are a smoker, your smile may not be so white, bright, or reassuring to share. The fact is, smoking is hard on your teeth. However, a lot of smokers don't understand just why smoking is so hard on their teeth. If you want another reason to leave the cigarettes alone, you should check out these three big reasons why smoking is hard on your teeth.
Smoking causes yellow and brown stains on the teeth enamel
Mixed with the dried tobacco in cigarettes are naturally occurring substances that can create stains on your teeth, specifically, nicotine and tar. By repeatedly drawing the tar and nicotine laced smoke into your mouth when you smoke, you are bringing in agents that can cling to your teeth and create yellow stains or even browned spots. While people who have only started smoking may not notice these stains right away, their dentist can usually tell because tar and nicotine stains don't brush away easily. Those who smoke for a lot of years usually end up with the tell-tail brownish yellow smile because the tar and nicotine have permanently stained the enamel of their teeth.
Smoking can create problems with tooth decay
Smoking cigarettes raises the temperature of your mouth, which can contribute to tooth decay. While the natural temperature of the inside of your mouth is a steamy 98.6 degrees on average, inhaling smoke into your mouth raises that temperature even higher. This higher temperature can encourage the development of bacteria, which can easily lead to or exacerbate problems with tooth decay.
Smoking affects the soft tissue of your mouth
Your gums, your tongue, your inner lips–all of this soft tissue is more vulnerable than the outside of your body to harmful agents. When you smoke, you are allowing heated, chemical-laden substances to fill your mouth and come in contact with the soft tissue inside of your mouth. This can create all kinds of problems, from elevating your risk of oral cancer to prolonging healing times after you have dental work performed. Smoking can even be a contributing factor in gum disease. All of this can easily affect your smile because, over time, you could see teeth shift or move, get loose, or even come out because of problems with the soft tissue in your mouth.
If you've quit smoking and are interested in cleaning your teeth and restoring your smile, talk to a dentist near you.