Dental health LexingtonSmoking may have been the norm back in the day, but it’s certainly a frowned upon vice these days, and for a number of perfectly reasonable explanations too. Nicotine is implicated as the cause of major respiratory disorders such as lung cancer, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. However, if you’re unwilling to kick the habit for those reasons, then you may want to know about how smoking also affects the state of your smile. Maybe that will give you the courage to finally smoke your last stick.

Yellow Teeth. Smoking is actually a culprit for a number of dental disorders. For the not so life-threatening ones, smoking can give you yellow teeth. This is because every cigarette stick contains a number of harmful chemicals from ammonia, carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar. Whenever you light up, all of these chemicals undergo certain reactions which activate a number of their properties. You then inhale all of that smoke and then exhale them back out. This process leaves residues on the surface of your teeth which stains your teeth and causes it to turn yellow.

Bad Breath. Another way that smoking can forever tarnish your smile has to do with how it gives you a foul breath. The reason for this has to do with the fact that smoking gives you a dry mouth. It limits the secretion of your saliva and increases the temperature inside your mouth from all the inhalation of that hot smoke. That’s very bad for you since a dry environment and a warm temperature are two of the requirements for microbial growth. Essentially, a smoker’s mouth is a like a petri dish of bacteria which are all emitting foul by-products.

Gum Disease. Smokers are also known to have red lips and red gums. The red lips is due to the carboxyhemoglobin which increase in concentrations within your blood with every whiff of cigarette. However, red gums signal the occurrence of a gum disease. Smoking puts users at high risk of having gum disease because of the excessive plaque and tartar accumulations. Every inhale and exhale of cigarette smoke leaves residues inside your mouth which then build-up and become plaque.

Plaque turns into tartar in a couple of hours if not removed promptly. The plaque is a bacteria-laden matrix which forms a thin film on the surface of your teeth while the tartar is the mineralized version of the latter. Tartar causes inflammation or swelling of gums while the bacteria from the substance infiltrate the soft tissues and cause an infection, thereby starting the process of gum disease.

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