In the 1960’s the Surgeon General determined that tobacco (especially smoking) was hazardous to your health. Cigarette advertising was barred from television and radio; and a warning appeared on cigarette packs across the country. Lung cancer and heart disease were the primary concerns. But continued research has found tobacco use impacts dental health exponentially, which is why your family dentist continues to warn you about the effects of tobacco and nicotine on your dental health.
Whether you smoke cigarettes, a pipe, or cigars, the newest rage–e-cigs–or chew tobacco, the risk you impart to your dental health is major. Oral cancer, dental decay, gum disease, and eventually teeth loss are much more prominent problems for tobacco users than those who abstain. Serious risks tobacco users take include:
- Oral cancer – The incidence of cancer of the throat, tongue, and soft oral tissues increases significantly for tobacco users. Quitting tobacco or even decreasing its use improves your odds you won’t develop this dreaded (and potentially fatal) disease.
- Cavities – Plaque and tartar growth on a tobacco users teeth is much higher; dental decay occurs when bacteria from plaque build-up permeates the dental enamel.
- Gum disease – Gingivitis and periodontitis can occur for anyone, but tobacco users are more likely to develop these oral conditions that result in bleeding, swollen gums; chronic bad breath; and teeth pulling away from gums due to bone loss.
- Tooth loss – Tobacco users face the likelihood that tooth loss is in their future. And bone loss eliminates dental implants as a solution due to inadequate jaw bone from smoking.
- In the event you must undergo any kind of oral surgery, healing is much slower.
- Appearance – Teeth become stained and discolored.
Quitting a tobacco habit is not easy; there are nicotine patches and chewing gum to ease the transition. Your family dentist may help facilitate quitting by offering a smoking cessation program that can provide information and medication.
It is well documented how dangerous this habit is to overall as well as dental health, and nicotine is terribly addictive. The importance of never starting tobacco use can literally change your life, but it is not impossible to quit.
See your family dentist for assistance in quitting as well as information on the hazards of tobacco use. This education could save your life. For more information, contact our team at Eurodental Studio.