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Teeth Whitening And Smoking

Whether you are an active smoker or someone who has recently quit, you are probably aware of the fact that smoking can have a major impact on your health. Your dental health, in particular, can be impacted by smoking. Not only is smoking one of the main risk factors for periodontal or gum disease, but it can also lead to significant staining on your teeth as well as decay. These cosmetic changes to the teeth are one reason why current smokers and former smokers often seek out whitening treatments. Here's what you should know about teeth whitening and smoking.

Tobacco Stains Can Be Stubborn

The first thing that you should be aware of is that tobacco stains can be stubborn. Two types of stains can occur on the teeth, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic staining is staining on the enamel of the toot and tends to be easier to remove. Intrinsic staining occurs when the stains reach the inner structure of the tooth. Intrinsic staining is harder to remove and becomes more common with age. If you have been smoking for a long time, the stains created may go deep down into your teeth and be difficult to remove. 

Teeth Whitening Can Help

When it comes to tobacco stains, good dental care can help. However, if stains persist even with brushing twice a day, teeth whitening is an option you should consider. For light staining and discoloration, an over the counter teeth whitening kit may be sufficient. However, professional teeth whitening may be needed for deep stains. The cost of in-office teeth whitening ranges from $300 to $1,000 while take-home kits provided by the dentist range from $100 to $500. For the best results, consider visiting your dentist for teeth whitening.

Veneers May Be Needed

If you have significant staining due to smoking, in some cases even professional in-office teeth whitening may not be able to get you the results you desire. There are other options available. Veneers are thin porcelain or composite shells that are attached to the outside of your teeth in order to change the color, shape, and even size of your teeth. While veneers can transform your smile and get you the white teeth you desire, they are expensive. The average cost of porcelain veneers is between $925 and $2,500 per tooth while composite ranges between $250 and $1,500 per tooth.

Years of smoking can lead to stained and discolored teeth. Tobacco stains can be stubborn and difficult to remove, especially if you have been a smoker for years. Teeth whitening can help, especially when done in-office by a dentist. In the case of extensive staining, veneers may be the best course of action.