You should already know that smoking can harm many aspects of your health, including your oral health. However, you might not realize why it's a good idea to quit smoking when you have dentures – after all, why worry about how smoke can affect your mouth when many or all teeth have already been lost?

While this is a tempting assumption to make, the truth is that smoking can make your dentures less pleasant to wear and significantly reduce the amount of time you can go before having them relined or replaced.

With that in mind, here are just four ways smoking affects your dentures.

1. Smoking Irritates the Gums

When your gums are exposed to tobacco smoke, they harden to protect themselves. This makes dentures less comfortable to wear and can inhibit their ability to properly fit along the alveolar ridge. Over time, gums will even shrink and pull away and become recessed, which makes a proper fit even harder to maintain. Additionally, gums often become sensitive and swollen when irritated by smoke. This makes the pressure caused by dentures uncomfortable, especially when you are speaking or eating.

2. Smoking Leaves Stains

Most people already know that tobacco smoke can stain their teeth, but it can also stain dentures. The same tar and chemicals that stick to natural teeth and create a yellowish or brownish tinge can stick to your dentures. This is especially common with acrylic dentures since they are more porous. It can be hard to remove stains once they develop, so you might end up needing a new set of dentures.

3. Smoking Creates Odours

The fact that dentures are slightly porous means they can absorb odours as well as stains. That's one reason why you'll need to brush and soak your dentures. Unfortunately, tobacco smoke can easily seep into dentures and become impossible to remove. That means you'll have that stale tobacco smell in your mouth whenever your dentures are in. This isn't just unpleasant for you — it can also cause significant social embarrassment.

4. Smoking Shrinks the Jawbone

Your jawbone will naturally start to shrink when teeth are lost, which is why dentures will need relining every now and then to compensate for the change in shape. You cannot stop this happening entirely, but you can dramatically reduce the speed of this process by quitting tobacco since smoking is a cause of jawbone loss. As well as letting you keep your current dentures for longer, slowing bone loss will also help you maintain a younger appearance. 

For more information about general dentistry, contact a local company.