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Smoking and Your Oral Health

By now, most of us realize how devastating smoking and using other tobacco products can be to your overall health. The negative effects of smoking on your lungs and cardiovascular system have been well-documented. However, you may not be fully aware of how smoking affects your oral health. Smoking results in a variety of dental health issues including bad breath, tooth discoloration, increased build-up of plaque and tartar, accelerated bone loss and an increased risk for oral cancer.

Tooth discoloration caused by smoking is one of the most difficult types to treat. Unlike stains that are caused by certain foods and beverages, stains and discoloration that are caused by smoking are very difficult to remove. Most whitening procedures are simply not strong enough to whiten teeth that are severely yellowed due to smoking. That leaves more expensive options such as covering the teeth with crowns or getting porcelain veneers.

The increased build up of plaque and tartar caused by smoking can cause periodontal disease, an infection of the tissues and bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease can cause a variety of oral health issues ranging from bad breath to tooth loss. What’s worse is the fact that smoking makes it more difficult to heal after dental procedures such as periodontal treatments, tooth extractions or oral surgery. And, smoking decreases the success rate for dental implants. Therefore, if you lose your teeth due to periodontal disease caused by smoking, the smoking will also limit your options for tooth replacement.

Perhaps the most serious effect smoking can have on your oral health is to increase your risk for oral cancer. Oral cancer is a very serious form of cancer that forms on the mouth and/or the throat. If it is not detected in its early stages and treated aggressively, this type of cancer is associated with very high rates of death.

If you are a smoker or if you use other tobacco products, it is imperative that you visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can closely monitor your oral health. Getting regular dental cleanings and checkups is vitally important to your long-term dental health and to increasing your chances of keeping your teeth for as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

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4.8

Based on 85 reviews

Patti B.
I had my first visit, for a routine cleaning. I am very impressed with the ease of scheduling an appointment, the convenience of appointments outside of ""regular"" business hours, the friendly staff and the thoroughness of the examination and cleaning procedure. Dr. Park was careful, compassionate, a good listener, and explained a lot about my teeth and her recommendations to care for my dental health moving forward. I am pleased and I look forward to being a long-term patient! Thanks Green Dental of Alexandria!
Roberto B.
Gold Stars on all fronts. The office is spotless, gives off a great vibe and has quiet soothing classical music playing. The front desk people are very warm and go above and beyond. Televisions are placed above the chairs so you can relax and watch TV while they work away under the hood. Dr. Park is very kind, thorough, and addressed all my concerns and questions.
Sure cleanings hurt a bit, but I actually look forward to them now!
Lauren K.
Best dental experience I've had in a long time. The reception/billing staff was friendly and helpful. The dental hygienists were gentle and knowledgeable. Dr Park was kind, thorough, and answered all of my questions. I'll be back!
Terry A.
Dr. Park has a wonderful manner with her patients! I feel very fortunate to have her as my dentist. Her hygienists and office staff are very competent and kind. I would go nowhere else.
Jennifer B.
I just had my first appointment at Green Dental and I couldn't be happier with their service. I tend to be nervous when going to the dentist, but all of the staff were very welcoming and nice. The exam chair massages your back as you're getting your cleaning and there's a television on the ceiling to distract you from dental work. The cleaning and evaluation was very gentle. Thanks, Green Dental!
Saletta C.
I've been a patient for 3.5 years. Today I got a tooth pulled. I am not proud of that. Dr. Park gave me options today that included allowing her to pull it or go see an Oral Surgeon. There was no way I was leaving her office when I trust her so much. I was nervous but I trust her more than anyone I've ever trusted to complete dental work. I am very found of Dr. Park and how caring and gentle her care is with each patient. I was equally impressed when I walked into her office today. Dr. Park was personally calling a patient just to see how he was doing after a visit. I joked with her about that .... what Dr. calls just to check on you anymore. Very nice. Very much appreciated.
Ranjana S.
I picked this because it was close and was impressed with the polite professionalism I encountered. Loved that I did not have to wait, but also loved the massage chair to relax tired back muscles. I felt the cost of procedures was a little on the high side...
Chantel L.
One of the best dental clinics I've been to thus far. I love the fact that they give an incentive (free tooth whitening) for good dental hygiene and their service is impeccable. I'm happy they actually went over the x-rays and pictures they took of my teeth to give more knowledge of what they look for in x-rays. I'm so happy I found them!
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