By now, most people are acutely aware of the fact that smoking is terrible for your health. There is a litany of reasons a person shouldn’t smoke – from increased risks for cardiovascular disease to premature aging. Another reason smoking is bad for your quality of life is the fact that tobacco use greatly affects oral health, too. Smoking cigarettes and cigars along with smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. If you use tobacco of any variety, be sure to bring this up with our dentist so that we can perform vigilant oral examinations.
Smoking and Gum Health
Smoking greatly affects the health of gum tissue. The toxins and chemicals released in smoke irritate and inflame the gingiva. Inflamed and irritated gums leads to periodontal disease since irritated gums are more prone to infection when exposed to debris and oral bacteria. Gum disease can be a devastating oral health condition, especially if it is not detected early on. Advanced periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. This condition also affects the health of the jawbones as well as soft oral tissue.
Tobacco Use and Oral Cancer
It is widely known that tobacco contains carcinogens. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, you are exposing oral tissue to cancer-causing agents. Oral cancer can form anywhere in the oral cavity and those who use tobacco have a heightened risk for developing this type of cancer. During checkups with our dentist, our team will perform oral cancer screenings. Like many other illnesses, detecting oral cancer as early as possible is important for recovery.
If you smoke, talk to our team about smoking cessation. We can recommend programs, medication, and supplements that can help you overcome using tobacco. Smoking cessation can have lasting positive effects on your wellbeing including reduced incidence of life-threatening illnesses, improved pulmonary function, and increased oral health.
To learn more or to reserve an appointment with our dentists, call our team at The Dental Place today.