Can a dentist identify whether you smoke or not?
Smoking is bad for your oral health because apart from the many other bad effects of smoking on your health, it also damages your teeth and gums. You may be wondering whether your dentist can tell whether you smoke or not by inspecting your mouth.
The answer is yes, they can because smoking has several detrimental effects on your dental health which are easily visible to your dentist.
Like with any other Doctor, you need to share your habits and your medical history with your dentist so that you can receive the best possible care so do not be embarrassed to tell them that you smoke.
Can a Dentist Identify Whether You Smoke or not?
Your dentist Boronia will know whether you are a smoker or not once they start examining your mouth because there are various telltale signs which include yellow teeth, plaque, receding gums and more.
- Yellow Teeth due to nicotine stains
Like skin, teeth also have pores which absorb whatever you eat or drink. In the case of smoking, it absorbs the smoke which contains nicotine and tar. These have the qualities to stain the teeth and these stains seep deeper into the enamel.
It stains both the inner and the outer surfaces of the teeth and it is not common to develop stains on the inner surface, thus this makes it pretty obvious that you smoke.
Getting these stains off isn’t easy and using drugstore whitening products doesn’t work. That is why to remove these you will need professional whitening to remove these stains.
- Tartar build ups and thicker saliva
Everybody has plaque and tartar buildup is common but people who smoke regularly have an excess of this buildup. That is because smoking affects the saliva in your mouth and one of the main functions of the saliva is to protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
People who smoke also have thicker saliva as smoking dries out the mouth and if the Dentist Bendigo notices tartar buildup or thicker saliva, they will have a good idea that you are a smoker.
- Receding or inflamed gums
Issues with gum are another sign by which a dentist can tell whether you smoke or not because smoking affects your gums as well and people who smoke are more susceptible to gum diseases.
Receding or inflamed gums are a result of smoking tobacco because the chemicals in the cigarette irritate the gums.
- Halitosis or bad breath
People who smoke have bad breath because the particles in the cigarette smoke attach soft tissues to your nose, mouth and teeth, allowing the growth of bacteria which results in bad breath.
How does smoking affect your oral health?
Once your dentist finds out that you smoke, he will advise you to stop smoking because smoking tobacco or vaping severely affects your oral health.
- Tooth Decay: Smoking dries out the mouth and one of the side effects of dryness is accelerated tooth decay because the saliva helps to break down food particles and washes away bacteria build up. This bacteria buildup secretes acid which causes tooth decay and the longer you continue to smoke, the more often you will need to visit your Dentist.
- Periodontal or Gum disease: Smoking causes the gums to recede due to inflammation because the chemicals in the smoke irritate the gums. As the gums pull back from the teeth, it leaves space for bacteria to grow as food accumulates in the space.
This causes an infection that destroys the bone holding your teeth to your jawbone. Gum disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis and if left untreated your teeth may fall off or have to be removed by a dentist.
- Mouth cancer: Mouth cancer is cancer of the mouth including your teeth, gums and cheek and smoking can increase your chances of mouth cancer and if left untreated it can spread to other areas.
It is no use hiding from your dentist whether you smoke or not because you cannot hide the signs. He will obviously advise you to quit smoking because other than the negative impacts it has on your oral health, it also badly affects your overall health.