It’s well documented that smoking can bring health problems such as cancers in the lung and throat. Yet many people know little about how smoking tobacco and other tobacco products can affect your oral health. The problems resulting from tobacco are not just superficial but also result in serious dental health problems that can put your life in danger. So you can be sure that along with your healthcare provider, your dentist too will want to see you quit smoking.
What Effects Will Smoking Have On My Oral Health?
To begin with, tobacco products will easily stain your teeth. Yellow staining tar and nicotine are found in all tobacco products and these are what make the teeth turn yellow. An accumulation of these staining substances may even turn your teeth into a brown color.
When you smoke, particles from the tobacco attach to the teeth and other soft tissue inside the mouth. Bacteria will then grow on these particles. This bacteria takes on the same smell like tobacco smoke causing bad breath.
Tobacco use is a leading cause of gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Statistics show that smokers and those that use smokeless tobacco are twice as likely to get gum disease. The American Academy of Periodontology found that smoking was the most significant risk factor in the development and progression of gum disease. Smoking encourages the production of plaque which leads to bacterial infection in the gum line. Smoking also makes it difficult to treat gum disease. Smoking reduces the level of oxygen in the bloodstream therefore the healing of gum tissue is affected.
When periodontal disease progresses it often leads to tooth loss. The infection in the gums can be so severe that it eats away the part of the jawbone that anchors your teeth. Weakened support can cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Gum disease can also lead to other health conditions such as complications in pregnancy, strokes, heart attacks, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
How Smoking is Linked With Cancer
It’s well documented that smoking and smokeless tobacco can cause cancers in the lung and throat, but many do not think about how it increases the chance of developing oral cancer. At least 75% of oral cancers are found in those that use tobacco. In an average year, thousands of people die from oral cancer because of smoking.
Your Dentist Can Help
If you smoke then it’s important that you visit the dentist regularly to check on your oral health. You should also visit the hygienist more regularly as teeth are more easily stained and plaque builds up faster. Your dentist will check to see that your teeth and gums are healthy. At times they may detect something that requires a referral for a biopsy. This involves taking a small tissue sample to be evaluated to see if it’s cancerous. The surgeons at Pinole Oral Surgery and Implantology perform such biopsies. Their office is found in Pinole, CA in Contra County and provides services for all those in the surrounding communities. Book an appointment now.