Not only is tobacco bad for your physical health, it wreaks havoc on your oral health as well. From bad breath to tooth discoloration, inflammation to an increase in plaque and tartar, bone loss to white patches inside your mouth, gum disease to an increased risk (and one of the leading causes) of tooth loss, a delay in healing with oral surgery to a lowered success rate with dental implants. And if that wasn’t enough – a high risk of oral cancer.
Gum Disease and Smoking
Tobacco and other products contained within it, can lead to gum disease by affecting the soft tissue as it relates to your jawbone. It interferes with the cells of your gum tissue causing smokers to become more readily susceptible to infection, as well as periodontal disease, and as we mentioned – inefficient healing regarding any major dental work.
The Risks of Smokeless Tobacco
Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco) still contains a minimum of 28 chemicals that increase your risk of oral cancer, as well as cancer of the throat due to ingesting the tobacco, and other concerns. In fact, it contains more nicotine than cigarettes do.
Chewing tobacco often irritates the gums and can cause them to pull away from your teeth, exposing your roots and increasing the likelihood of tooth decay.
A shocking 90% of people who suffer from oral cancer use or have used tobacco products, and are six times more likely to develop oral cancer over non-smokers.
This does not sound like a pretty picture, nor result in any type of healthy lifestyle. Although quitting is clearly difficult, it can be accomplished through various methods, making it a more doable feat than in years gone by.
At DentistsRUs, we want to see our patients in optimal health, and help them arrive there with affective oral care routine and habits. Regardless of if you are a current smoker or are trying to quit, maintaining regular dental checkups will better ensure your oral health is addressed, and any signs or symptoms or oral cancer can be screened for promptly.
Call any one of our dental professionals in the Lower Mainland below, and participate in an oral exam to ensure there are no concerns, putting your mind at ease, and potentially encouraging you to take the next step in quitting smoking!