There’s no question in the minds of medical and dental professionals that a tobacco habit is a great way to cause serious damage to your health, including your oral health. While COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and lung cancer are the most well-known consequences, your oral health is in danger from this habit as well. From preventing certain forms of treatment to accelerating how quickly your teeth decay, there are numerous ways that tobacco can lead to additional problems at the dentist’s office.
Cavities happen at four times the rate of non-tobacco users in smokeless tobacco users
Respiratory Concerns Are The Tip Of The Iceberg
We’ve long known that inhaling any foreign substance is bad for your lungs, and tobacco smoke has been proven to be particularly harmful. While these concerns are severe and even life-threatening, they aren’t the full range of potential consequences of using tobacco. Even using smokeless tobacco doesn’t reduce all the risks; more often, it simply exchanges one kind of risk for another. Let’s explore some of the most common consequences for your oral health of using tobacco in any form:
- Accelerated Tooth Decay – For your teeth and gums, there is no such thing as a safe form of tobacco use. Both smokeless and smoked tobacco subject your teeth to abrasive particles that damage enamel. Smokeless tobacco, in particular, can create quite a risk to your gums and teeth.
- Reduce Dental Treatment Options – When you use tobacco, there’s a notable reduction in the amount of blood flow going to your oral structures. This can create an environment that’s perfect for bacteria to grow and thrive. In addition, your gums, cheeks, and tongue can become inflamed. These two conditions can lead to you being unable to take advantage of some forms of dental treatments, like bridges and implants.
- Trouble Fighting Gum Disease – Gum disease and periodontal disease in patients that use tobacco can be particularly difficult to combat. This is due in part to the ability of tobacco to suppress your immune system. This leads to more occurrences of this disease and more difficulty battling it. When damage occurs, you can also have trouble healing as blood vessel regrowth is impaired.
As research continues, we discover more ways that tobacco use seriously impacts our overall health.
It takes nine years for your risk from tobacco use to return to normal
Get Assistance With Quitting
If you use tobacco, there is something you can do to reduce the risks to your health, and that’s quit using tobacco. The risk to your oral health is very well documented, and your dentist is ready to be part of your team for improving your health. They can connect you to smoking cessation programs that will give your teeth, gums, and whole-body a new lease on life.