Right now, the estimate is that about 20% of the world’s population regularly smokes tobacco, which means about 1 billion people light up at least once per day. The negative effects smoking can have on the teeth are well documented, but what if someone has dentures? Today, a dentist answers a very important but rarely asked question, “Can smoking damage my dentures?”
The Answer: Definitely
Whether someone just has a partial or complete dentures to replace all of their teeth, smoking can definitely cause harm to both the prosthetic as well as someone’s mouth. How bad can it be? The following are just a few reasons why dentists ask all of their denture patients to stop smoking:
It Increases Bone Loss
When the teeth go missing, the jawbone naturally starts to shrink and change shape over time. This is why a person regularly has to have their dentures relined in order for them to fit properly. When someone smokes, this process is dramatically sped up, meaning even a new denture will lose its fit years earlier than expected.
It Can Cause Stains
It’s common knowledge that cigarette smoke can stain the teeth, but the same is true for dentures as well. The tar and chemicals found in cigarettes can stick to a dental prosthetic just like real enamel, causing it to develop a yellowish, brownish tint.
It Can Make Dentures Smell
Because the materials used to make modern-day dentures are slightly porous, they’re able to absorb odors over time. This is a big reason why people should brush/soak their dentures every night to keep them smelling fresh. For smokers, however, the stale smell of tobacco can easily seep into their denture and cause their breath to smell bad even if they regularly clean it.
It Can Make Dentures Less Comfortable
Tobacco smoke irritates the soft tissues of the mouth, causing them to become inflamed, sensitive, and swollen. This can make even a well-fitted denture feel extremely uncomfortable and interfere with a person’s ability to speak and eat properly.
The Simple (But Not Easy) Solution
Of course, a simple way to avoid all of these issues is for a person to quit smoking, which as everyone knows, is much easier said than done. If you’re thinking about cutting back or quitting smoking, there are many resources you can find online, and you can always consult your family doctor as well. It’s one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health, and thankfully, there’s no reason you have to do it alone. By keeping the cigarettes put away, you’ll not only enjoy a better looking and fitting denture, but a stronger body as well, which is certainly worth smiling about.
About the Author
Dr. Charles Parker is a dentist in Marshall who has been serving patients in East Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas for more than 30 years. He is widely considered the premier denture expert in the area, so whether you’re looking to upgrade your prosthetic or quit smoking, he’s ready to help you like he has countless other patients. To learn more about everything you’ve just read and get tips you can use today, he can be contacted through his website.