How Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs Affect the Teeth

How Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs Affect the Teeth

Smoking, alcohol and drugs can cause or contribute to a host of health problems. In the mouth, these substances can raise the risks of gum disease, cavities and cancer. Here is a deeper look at these effects and what you can do to protect yourself.

Oral Problems Linked to Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs

All of these substances can raise risks of bad breath and cosmetic problems, such as stained teeth. Dry mouth, a common side effect of these substances, is a well-known contributor to tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and serious infections. Long-term tooth damage can eventually result in tooth decay, cracked teeth and tooth sensitivity. Finally, a variety of oral cancers may occur because of inflammation and exposure to toxic chemicals.

How To Protect Yourself

Quitting drugs, alcohol and smoking is the best thing you can do to minimize your exposure to these oral health risk factors. At the minimum, you can benefit from reducing your intake of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Good oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, and a healthy diet low in sugar can also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Finally, regular check-ups at our office can help you prevent oral health problems and get treatment for any problems before they worsen.

Oral health is a foundation of overall health, and the substances listed here can damage it in a variety of ways. While taking steps at home can reduce your risks, quitting is the best route to take. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Afar, our dentist in Los Angeles, to learn more about how these substances affect oral health.