While you may think that smoking and drinking go well together, your mouth and body don’t completely agree. These two habits have serious repercussions on your oral health, damaging your teeth and gums permanently. In fact, smoking may contribute to gum disease and tooth stains while drinking alcohol may cause tooth erosion, cavities, and mouth cancer.
The Effects of Smoking
Scottwgrantdmd.com and other cosmetic dentists in Meridian note that tooth discoloration is one of the most noticeable effects of smoking. Those who regularly smoke also have oral hygiene problems, such as persistent bad breath and cavities. They are also more likely to lose teeth than those who do not smoke.
Smoking damages teeth and gums by increasing the number of harmful microorganisms inside the mouth, contributing to gum disease. This bad habit may also reduce the blood flow in the gums, making the tissues more likely to be inflamed. Chewing tobacco is a lot worse, as it may increase your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to four times.
The Repercussions of Drinking
With excessive drinking, tooth erosion is the most prevalent problem. This is because alcohol creates an acidic environment, which then erodes or softens the enamel. This also contributes to dry mouth, causing halitosis and plaque buildup.
When combined with smoking, drinking may increase your chance of having mouth cancer for up to 30 times. This is because alcohol affects the cells lining the mouth, as well as gums and cheeks. Both habits, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, exert a synergistic effect that increases the risk for oral cancer.
Stop the Damage
Regular brushing and flossing are not enough to prevent the damages of smoking and drinking. Limiting your alcohol intake and quitting smoking are the best ways to minimize plaque, avoid gum disease, and reduce risk of mouth cancer.
If smoking and drinking have already done some aesthetic problems with your teeth, it’s not too late to stop the damage. Quitting is your best defense, as well as consulting your dentist regularly for a thorough check-up and teeth whitening.