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The dental hygiene needs for a smoker are much more complicated than the hygiene needs of a non-smoker. Many people know about the negative health effects of smoking on the respiratory and cardiovascular system, but few know about the effect smoking can have on your oral health. While it may sound surprising, smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Not only does smoking increase bad breath and tooth yellowing, it also increases your risks of obtaining severe tooth and gum diseases. The risks of periodontal disease, loss of bone loss, leukoplakia, and oral cancer escalate significantly for those who smoke regularly. If you are a smoke, proper oral hygiene is vital. Work with your primary physician to develop a cessation program, and schedule a professional cleaning with Dr. Brooks and our team. Smokers require more cleanings than non-smokers, make sure to talk to us about your dental hygiene needs. In the long term, the decision to quit smoking can be a difficult one to make, but will greatly improve your health.