The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Patients in the Denver area can trust the team at University Dental Arts to offer the best dental care possible. This includes restorative dentistry procedures to improve health and wellness as well as cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance smile aesthetics.

We also believe in preventative care and total wellness as a way of improving your smile. That’s why we’re always keen to help patients who are smokers. Smoking can have many negative effects on your smile, which we’d like to explore in more detail below.

Smoking Causes Bad Breath

One of the noticeable issues with smoking is that it causes you to have bad breath. Compared to the other problems we’re about to discuss, the bad breath is a minor issue, but already compelling on its own as a reason to quit.

Smoking Can Lead to Dental Stains and Discoloration

If you smoke regularly, it’s not uncommon for your teeth to become stained, particularly the front teeth. Many people who have smoked for years have smiles that are tinged with yellow or that are generally dingy or brown.

Smoking Makes Gum Disease More Likely

When people smoke, they increase their risk of gum disease. Infections and inflammation of the gums are more likely when any tobacco products are used, which means potential issues with bleeding gum, discolored gums, and gum recession. Left untreated, patients are more likely to suffer from advanced periodontitis due to smoking.

Smoking Can Make Tooth Decay Worse

In addition to affecting the gums, smoking has been shown to make plaque and tartar buildup worse in many patients. When more plaque and tartar is present, this offers oral bacteria an ideal means of attaching to a tooth’s surface and damaging the enamel and other layers of tooth structure.

Smoking Can Lead to an Increased Likelihood of Oral Cancer

One of the most significant issues with smoking is that it increases your likelihood of developing oral cancer. Smokers and people who use chewing tobacco are at significant oral cancer risk. The problems begin with sores, lesions, and pain, and if the oral cancer is not caught early, it can have a disastrous impact on your overall wellness.

Treatments for the Dental Problems Caused by Smoking

There are many different dental treatments out there that can help address the negative effects of smoking.

To improve the appearance of a smile that’s been yellowed by years of cigarette smoke, for instance, there is teeth whitening treatment, which bleaches discolored tooth structure.

To address gum disease and recession, there are many different periodontal procedures that will address infection and also rebuild damaged soft tissue.

For tooth decay and tooth erosion, restorations can be used rebuild compromised tooth structure. Common restoration options include fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns.

As for oral cancer, dentists can screen for early signs of cancer so the problem can be treated as soon as possible. This is why regular dental visits are so crucial for ensuring total wellness.

Consult with Experts to Help You Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is easier said than done. If you need assistance with quitting, you can speak with your doctor or with our team. We can discuss various techniques for quitting and the various resources available to you to help you kick the habit for good.

Speak with Our Advanced Dental Care Team

For more information on enhancing the appearance of your smile, improving your dental health, and achieving greater overall wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at University Dental Arts looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

The Dangers of Dry Mouth

If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s important to understand the dangers this condition poses to your oral health. If you have already experienced damage from dry mouth, restorative dentistry treatments can reverse damage and restore the appearance of your smile. Denver cosmetic dentist David Redford offers this overview to help you understand the dangers of dry mouth and how you protect your smile.

Dry Mouth Causes and Symptoms

Dry mouth is a condition in which inadequate saliva is produced and it can occur for a number of reasons. For some, dry mouth is temporary, caused by dehydration, while for others it may be a chronic condition. The cause of chronic dry mouth can be a result of medication, tobacco use, or damaged salivary glands. Some of the possible causes of dry mouth include:

  • Dehydration
  • Breathing dry air
  • Damaged or removed salivary glands
  • Tobacco use
  • Certain medications
  • Oral infection or disease

The symptoms of dry mouth vary from mild to severe. Some dry mouth sufferers find symptoms to be mildly irritating while others may experience painful symptoms like cracked lips and split corners of the mouth. Some common symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • Constant thirst
  • Dry throat and nasal passages
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Split or sore corners of the mouth
  • Dry feeling mouth and tongue
  • Difficulty tasting foods

The Dangers of Dry Mouth

If untreated, dry mouth can lead to many oral health problems. Without adequate saliva, the mouth is left vulnerable to decay, tooth discoloration, infection, and many other issues. Saliva is important to oral health as it helps neutralize acids within the mouth and washes away plaque and foods particles. Some of the dangers of dry mouth include:

  • Gum disease: Gum disease often goes hand-in-hand with dry mouth. This is because, without sufficient saliva, food particles, plaque, and bacteria are easily able to gather along the gum line, leading to gum disease.
  • Tooth decay: Tooth decay is another danger of dry mouth. This is because bacteria, plaque, and food particles are not washed away with the saliva.
  • Oral sores: Dry mouth can lead to oral sores, or overall discomfort and pain.
  • Tooth discoloration: Dry mouth puts the teeth at increased risk of discoloration since foods are not washed away from the teeth as with normal saliva production.
  • Bad breath: Bad breath is a common problem associated with dry mouth.

Tips For Relieving Dry Mouth

Treating dry mouth begins with determining the cause, which can be determined by your dentist or general physician. Despite the cause, many of the symptoms of dry mouth can be relieved with these tips:

  • Fight dehydration by drinking plenty of water
  • Rinse the mouth with water after eating and between brushings
  • Reduce air dryness with a humidifier
  • Help encourage saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum
  • Avoid starchy foods that can reduce saliva production
  • Use an over-the-counter saliva substitute

Schedule a Consultation

Seek treatment for dry mouth today! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Redford to find out more about dry mouth treatment options.

Halting Halitosis: Bad Breath Causes and Treatments

There is nothing that can affect a person’s self-confidence more drastically than learning that he or she suffers from bad breath. Bad breath can affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life, from professional relationships to romantic entanglements. Many people with chronic halitosis eventually just give up, hiding away in the privacy of their homes when they could be out and about enjoying life to its fullest.

Thankfully, advances in restorative dentistry allow for dentists to provide new leases on life to patients struggling with bad breath. At University Dental Arts in Denver, bad breath treatments can help patients regain their self-esteem and self-assurance, leading ultimately to an improved overall quality of life. Whether you suffer from bad breath, or you are living with someone who does, we can help.

The Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. In these cases, patients may be able to improve their breath significantly by improving their at-home oral hygiene regimens. For example, it is important that they brush their teeth and their tongues with fluoride toothpaste after every meal, and no less than twice a day. They should floss twice a day to remove food particles and bacteria from hard to reach places and use mouthwash after every brushing. Equally importantly, they should visit University Dental Arts twice a year for professional cleanings and oral screenings.

Other common causes of bad breath include:

  • Periodontal disease, especially periodontitis, the most advanced form of the disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Dentures that are not adequately cleaned
  • Cigarettes and cigars
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Certain diseases, including diabetes, liver disease, and bronchitis
  • Certain medications
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration and chronic dry mouth
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Conventional metal braces and other dental appliances that can get in the way of basic oral hygiene

Some of these causes can be addressed through changes in lifestyle: give up smoking, drink more water, and eat healthier. Other causes, however, require more aggressive treatment.

Bad Breath Treatments

Before the most effective course of treatment for bad breath can be determined, Dr. David Redford must first evaluate your mouth and speak with you about your lifestyle and medical history. This diagnostic stage is essential to resolving your halitosis in both the short and the long term.

During your initial appointment, you will also receive a thorough cleaning of your mouth and be educated on the various ways you can improve your breath. As noted above, your treatment plan may entail significant lifestyle changes on your part, depending on the circumstances of your case. The more willing you are to make these changes, the more effective your treatment will be.

If Dr. Redford determines that your bad breath is rooted in an underlying oral health issue such as gum disease or tooth decay, we will devise a treatment plan to correct these problems. Your individualized dental plan may involve multiple treatments, including root canal and periodontal therapy, dental crowns, and medication, all of which will result in a healthier mouth and fresher breath.

Learn More about Bad Breath Causes and Treatments

To learn more about bad breath causes and treatments, please contact University Dental Arts today.