The Smoking Gun
article by Raha Sepehrara
The unfortunate consequences of smoking may not manifest themselves for decades. But if you believe that you are getting away scot-free then think again!
You may not have early-stage lung cancer but your skin will soon develop more wrinkles than the average dishcloth. If you think smoking is bad news for your skin, then you don’t even want to contemplate what it does to your gums.
Because there’s no smoke without lost teeth!
A Kick in the Teeth
The unpleasant cocktail of chemicals in tobacco smoke causes gum (periodontal) disease. Smokers who puff their way through a pack a day can look forward to losing roughly 2 teeth every ten years. That nasty tar in cigarettes also causes teeth to yellow rapidly so it’s goodbye pearly whites. Before you know it, you are 35 years old but with the teeth of a pensioner - so put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Smoke and Mirrors
Yellow teeth and unsightly gaps seriously dent your self-esteem. You may never want to look in the mirror again. You would give your hind teeth for a better smile, if only you had any left. But if your teeth have gone on the missing list, do you need to live with that toothless grin?
Actually you don’t and you shouldn’t.
Plugging the Gaps - Dentures or Dental Implants?
The gaps left by missing teeth can accelerate the deterioration of your remaining teeth and the bone density in your jaw. Dentures which are supported only by the soft tissues in your mouth will restore your smile. But there’s a problem here too. The pressure that dentures exert on your gums and jaw bone will also ultimately damage the structures in your mouth.
Dental implants could be your saviour. Titanium implants act as substitutes for natural roots. They are biocompatible and so become osseointegrated with your jaw bone. Too many syllables? This is simply the posh way of explaining that implants will fuse with your bone. The implants can be used to support crowns, bridges or dentures so that your smile is reborn and you can chew and eat normally once again.
As Rare As Hens’ Teeth
When you are trying to cope with the negative impacts of smoking, good news is generally as rare as hens’ teeth. But when it comes to your own teeth, dental implants are the exception to this most upsetting of rules. Bone requires constant stimulation in order to remain healthy. Dental implants help you chew normally and so provide the necessary stimulation to the nerves, muscles and jaw bone to promote healthy bone growth.
Don’t Delay Dental Treatment
If you have lost teeth because you are a smoker, then dental implants could give you back your smile. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of security or put off getting treatment for your teeth. Every cigarette will cause further damage and so will every gap left unattended. The best things do not come to those who wait.
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