Smoking is a bad habit and one that many people struggle to break. After giving up smoking, you may feel better about yourself, but seeing a potentially yellow looking back at you in the mirror may just remind you of smoking. For the sake of moving past it and in order to look your best, it's a good idea to visit a dentist. There's a good chance that your teeth not only don't look their best but that your oral health is also in dire need. Here are three things you should consider seeing a dentist for.
One of the ways that smoking is bad for you is by damaging your dental enamel. This is the hard shield on the outside of your teeth that protects them from damage. Smoking wears this enamel down and causes secondary conditions that can also harm it, like dry mouth. When the enamel is lost, it can't be restored, but it can be replaced with an artificial alternative.
Dental bonding is a common restorative dental procedure that patches up holes and weak spots in dental enamel. It uses the same thing that dental fillings are patched up with, but with no drilling required. Your dentist will carefully reconstruct the exterior of your tooth with dental bonding to protect your teeth from further damage.
Another way smoking negatively impacts your oral health is by hurting your gums. Gums tend to recede and become diseased when people smoke for a long period of time. If you have gum disease, your dentist will be able to treat that. If you also have receding gums, they'll want to talk to you about repairing that problem as well. Sometimes gums move back to their normal position after being treated for gum disease, but not always. In this case, your dentist can extend your gums back to a normal length by using a tissue graft from the roof of your mouth.
Finally, it's entirely possible that you may not be happy with the way that your smile looks. Maybe your teeth aren't white enough, or perhaps they've become crooked from years of smoking. If that's the case, your dentist can talk to you about braces or veneers, which can both give you a straighter smile. Braces are a good choice if you have seriously crooked teeth, but if you just want the look of a straight smile, veneers can get you there in a matter of days rather than months or years.
For more information, contact a dentist such as Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS.