Dental Tips Blog

Mar
12

Tobacco Use and Dental Health

Posted in Oral Cancer

Even if you are a smoker, you probably know all the warnings about smoking and heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer.  What you may not know is that smoking and other tobacco use also endangers your mouth and teeth.

The first problem that may be seen is oral cancers or oral cancer lesions.  These oral cancers are particularly stubborn to treatment because of the years of lack of oxygen in the area.

The second problem that can occur from tobacco use is gum disease.  There are higher rates of gum or periodontal disease and periodontitis in individuals who smoke.  The lack of oxygen in the gum tissues makes it harder to fight off infection, and plaque and tartar tend to develop more quickly in smokers than in non-smokers.

Other conditions that can occur when you smoke include dry socket after dental procedures, receding gum lines, and higher rates of tooth decay.

Whether you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, your gums, tongue, mouth and teeth are also at risk.  Blood supply is dramatically decreased with the use of tobacco products, and oral health is put in jeopardy.

If you are a smoker and are interested in quitting, contact your health care provider to ask for some tips and strategies.  Involve your dentist in your plan, and until you have successfully quit, ask if it would be beneficial to be seen more frequently than twice a year.  Your dentist may also recommend a special mouthwash or mouth rinse to help combat the increased risk of gum disease.

Your teeth should last a lifetime.  With a little planning and work, they will.

Posted on the behalf of North Point Periodontics

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