While we all understand that tobacco use can cause numerous health problems, did you know that one of the areas hit most by smoking is your mouth? If you are a smoker or consuming tobacco in any form, you may want to read this post till the end. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, more than a third of smokers experience at least three oral health problems and 15% of adults are smokers. That’s a high number of people struggling with an addiction that is both hard to quit and destroys your overall health.
By now most people know that tobacco use is a leading cause of lung cancer. But perhaps what they don’t know is that tobacco use and smoking is a major cause of oral cancer. By utilizing tobacco products, you are not only putting your whole body at risk of diseases and cancer but also impact your dental health.
Not only causing stained teeth and bad breath, but tobacco usage can also cause serious long-term oral health effects. We will be discussing how tobacco use affects your gums, teeth, and overall dental health.
Does Tobacco Cause Dental Problems?
A Biggg Yess… Your teeth take most of the damage when using tobacco products. Your teeth not only touch the tobacco itself but comes into contact with harmful toxins that are in a cigar that you inhale. Aesthetically, you can easily see the stains on your teeth. You may notice that your tongue and teeth are discolored, while your palate may change in appearance.
Chewing cigars, tobacco, snuff and unprocessed tobacco leaves contain tiny particles that can be abrasive to your teeth and wear them down. When these small particles are mixed with your saliva, they form an abrasive paste that will wear your teeth over time.
Regular smokers are at high risk of tooth decay. Nicotine which is found in tobacco minimizes the flow of saliva, leading to dry mouth symptoms. Reduced saliva flow implies that food particles are likely to stick to your teeth and cause an acidic bacterial infection which leads to tooth decay. Persistent smoking can also cause a gum disease known as periodontal disease.
4 Dental Reasons to Avoid Tobacco & Tobacco Products
Good health calls for a balance of numerous factors, from lifestyle choices and medical care to genetics. One of the major lifestyle choices involves making a decision to quit using tobacco products. Chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and other products can cause dental problems as well as adverse health problems. If you are a smoker and still on the fence about whether or not to quit tobacco products, read on to understand why smoking is bad for your oral health:
Tobacco Products Cause Oral Cancer
The use of tobacco products skyrockets your risk of oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 90% of people who develop oral cancers are ardent smokers. Smokers have six times the risk of mouth, tongue, throat, and lip cancer compared to non-smokers.
Chewing tobacco also increases your risk of different types of cancers, according to the Mayo Clinic. Smokeless tobacco products contain 28 chemicals known to enhance cancer and other ailments. The higher levels of nicotine in these tobacco products make them highly addictive, affecting your ability to quit or reduce usage once you begin.
Stain Teeth Due to Tobacco Products
Cosmetic dentistry problems may appear trivial compared to other diseases like cancer, but they impact the quality of your life nevertheless. A recent study by Procter and Gamble revealed that people with white teeth have a high chance of succeeding in their relationships and careers. Unfortunately, the use of tobacco products can dull the most dazzling smile.
Any type of oral tobacco can stain the enamel of your tooth, turning it brown (in the worst cases) or yellow in mild cases. These stubborn stains may call for professional teeth whitening techniques from an experienced cosmetic dentist.
Even if you succeed in restoring the whiteness of your enamel, your new tooth may not correspond with the color of your original dental work. While other porcelain restorations and veneers resist staining, they can become discolored.
It Increases Periodontal Problems
The use of tobacco in any form-smokeless tobacco, pipes cigarettes-increases your risk of periodontal disease. The chemicals found in tobacco can damage the tissues surrounding your tooth roots and anchor your teeth to your jawbone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease than non-smokers.
Smoking Reduces Your Mouth’s Healing Abilities
If you were to undergo functional dental restoration, cosmetic oral surgery, or periodontal treatment, your tobacco use could greatly reduce your healing abilities. The nicotine found in these products minimizes the concentration of oxygen availed to the tissue. This can cause delays in rebuilding the tissue.
Smokers also seem to have more problems maintaining a blood clot after dental surgery. Clot development plays an important role in successful recovery from wisdom tooth extraction and other cosmetic procedures.
As a smoker, you are putting yourself at risk of gum disease when using or smoking tobacco products. The chemicals found in tobacco products cause inflammation around your teeth because of the reduced flow of oxygen in your bloodstream, which slows down your gums from healing faster.
Let an Experience Dentist Help You Treat Oral Health Problems Related to Tobacco Use
Smoking is harmful to your oral health and greatly increases your chances of developing oral cancer and losing your teeth. If you are a smoker or using tobacco in any other form and are ready to quit the habit, you should book an appointment with your dentist for tips that will help you stop the vice.
If you need dental checkups and treatments after tobacco use, schedule an appointment with Dr. William Fitzgerald to learn more today.