On Great American Smokeout Day, let’s talk about how smoking affects your teeth:

Everybody knows that smoking wreaks havoc on your health. While your teeth may not be the first thing you think of when considering the dangers of smoking, any kind of tobacco use can bring about some serious damage to your mouth.

Tooth Discoloration … Most people know that smoking can turn your pearly whites into not-quite-so whites in a hurry. Regular tobacco use, even if you’re not a pack-a-day smoker, can turn white teeth into ones that are yellow or brown.

The more you smoke, the more likely you are to notice tooth discoloration quickly.

Tooth Decay … Tobacco can do some serious damage in your mouth, but most people think of oral cancer and gum issues. While those shouldn’t be overlooked, not many people associate smoking and tobacco use with the kind of tooth decay dentists often see in their patients.

Periodontal Disease … Periodontal disease, sometimes referred to simply as gum disease, is basically a bacterial infection that occurs in your mouth. Over time, this infection impacts the gums. While the early stages of periodontal disease can often be reversed if you see a dentist, long-term smoking and tobacco use can lead to the problem becoming worse.

Bone Damage … If periodontal disease is left untreated, the infection can spread into tissue and bone, which can then cause bone damage.

Tooth Loss … When periodontal disease takes hold in your mouth, tooth loss isn’t usually too far behind. Where there is periodontal disease, you’ll also usually find a higher rate of decay due to infection.