If you use tobacco or smoke cigarettes regularly, your doctor has likely advised you to stop. You may be familiar with the potential health risks associated with tobacco, but did you know that smoking and tobacco use have a significant impact on your oral health as well?
Your oral health is like a window to the inside of your body. Dentists are usually the first doctors to suspect a potential health condition. At Grove Avenue Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide an oral cancer screening at each 6 month visit. Early detection saves lives and with oral cancer on the rise, dentist are experts in detecting any oral lesion that are out of the range of normal. Here are just a few more reasons you should consider the effects of smoking and tobacco use on oral health.
Chewing tobacco causes gum deterioration and recession. As gum tissue recedes, bone loss and tooth decay are more likely to occur. Smoking also dries out your mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is little to no saliva to rinse away the bacteria and maintain a neutral pH within your mouth. Without that saliva, bacteria hangs around for long periods of time in your mouth causing decay and gum disease.
The natural color of tobacco, either in cigarettes or chew, is brown. Repeatedly exposing your teeth to this substance will cause yellowing of your teeth quite quickly. Teeth whitening can be an option, however with continued use, discoloration will return.
Gum disease is more common among smokers and tobacco users. Your gums are the soft tissue which secure the teeth into the bone. Gum disease and recession can lead to tooth loss. Chewing tobacco can also irritate the gums, causing recession and gum disease ultimately leading to tooth loss.
Smokers and tobacco chewers have an increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth. This includes cancer of the lips, tongue, and throat.
It is vital to your oral health to maintain regular visits with your dentist. Grove Avenue Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is dedicated to patient education and life-time preventative care. If you have questions about the effects of smoking or tobacco use on your teeth call 804.285.1378. Contact us to learn more about options for dental care.