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Smoking tobacco can age a person’s appearance, strain their heart, damage the lungs, and create a myriad of other problems to their health. Some of these problems include a dry mouth, stained teeth, and a diminished sense of taste, as well as an increased risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Keep reading to learn more about the effects smoking tobacco has on oral health.

Plaque And Tartar Buildup

Plaque is a collection of oral bacteria that produces the acids which cause tooth decay. When plaque isn’t cleaned from teeth, it hardens into a calcified substance called tartar, which easily absorbs the stains from tobacco. Evidence shows that smokers have a higher buildup of plaque and tartar in their smile. This not only increases their risk for tooth decay, but also their risk for the inflammatory infection of periodontal disease.

Dry Mouth

Smoking dries out the mouth, which increases the risk for dental problems. Saliva neutralizes acids while also bringing in important disease-fighting and tooth-rebuilding materials. With low levels of saliva, you have an increased risk for tooth decay, bad breath, and other dental problems.

Weak Immune System

Smokers have weaker immune systems which not only effect their oral health, but the health of their entire body as well. This is especially detrimental because it means that the mouth may not be able to fight off a gum disease infection. A weak immune system also makes it difficult for one to heal after receiving gum disease treatment or other dental procedures.

Tissue Irritation

Tobacco can cause a lot of irritation for your gum tissue. This increases your risk for gum disease as well as oral cancer. Studies show that 90% of the people who are diagnosed with oral cancer also smoke tobacco.