Have you wondered, what does smoking do to your teeth? If you’re worried about the impact smoking has on your teeth and mouth, you should be. Not only can you get yellow teeth from smoking, but cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco also can harm your oral health.
How does smoking affect your mouth? In addition to the impact it has on your overall health, smoking causes the following:
- • Bad breath
- • Yellowed/stained teeth and tongue
- • Slower healing after any kind of tooth extraction or oral surgery
- • Lessened sense of smell and taste
- • Increased risk of gum disease
- • Increased risk of oral cancer
The only way to completely lower these tobacco-related risks to your oral health is to quit smoking. If you want to quit — and the majority of smokers do — try these strategies:
- 1. Write down “why” — Making a list of the reasons you want to quit can bolster your resolve when you’re tempted to smoke. Do you want to improve your overall health? Set a better example for your kids? Save money? All of the above? Keep your list with you in the days to come as a reminder of why quitting matters.
- 2. Make your “quit date” public — Pick a date and make it public, asking your friends and family to support you. You’ll appreciate their help when it counts.
- 3. Plan ahead — Get rid of your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters — anything you associate with smoking. Then make a plan for what you’ll do when you get the urge to smoke. Can you chew gum? Listen to music? Snack on some crunchy vegetables? Have a go-to list of activities you can do instead of smoking and keep in mind that most cravings only last a few minutes. Every time you overcome one, you’re that much closer to being smoke-free.
- 4. Mix up your habits — Smoking is a habit, so embracing new ones can help you stay smoke-free. That may include taking a different route to work or going for a walk after every meal instead of lighting up. You may want to avoid places or situations where you’ve always smoked in the past until you’re confident in your ability to overcome temptation.
- 5. Handle day-to-day stressors — Stress can trigger the urge to smoke, so consider how you’ll deal with stress smoke-free. Calling or texting a friend, taking a quick walk and breathing deeply for a few minutes are all quick, effective ways of calming yourself without a cigarette.
- 6. Talk to your dentist, doctor, nurse or pharmacist — If you want to quit smoking but are struggling, your health professionals can answer questions and guide you to resources, including medication, that can help.
Need more information or have additional questions? If you’re wondering what does smoking do to your gums or is smoking bad for your teeth, feel free to contact our office. Quitting smoking is a great decision for the health of your mouth and your whole body, and we’re here to help you succeed!