No this is not a ‘you’re naughty ruining your lungs’ smoking rant (although you do know you are don’t you?). But besides the link between tobacco and heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and cancer (especially lung and throat cancers), smoking leads to the following oral health consequences:
- Bad breath – when you have braces, there are just more areas for bacteria and contaminants to loiter. So smoking with braces often leads to more severe odor.
- Tooth discoloration – smoking stains your teeth – when you have braces it is harder to brush increasing the likelihood of obvious tooth discoloration following the removal of your braces.
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw – which can compromise your treatment time and stabilization.
- Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss
- Delayed healing process – making your mouth ulcers (that we all get when we first have braces) more painful and taking longer to heal.
Do yourself a favour and use your decision to invest in braces an opportunity to quit. There are plenty of resources and support groups out there willing to help.
(primary source QuitNow & WebMD)