We all know that smoking is bad for your overall health however using tobacco products can have severe consequences on your oral health too.
Smoking and tobacco use can cause a lot of oral health issues including oral cancer to yellowing of the teeth. You will see an abundance of staining of the tongue and teeth. Patients who use tobacco will also take the risk of other serious health complications like gum disease or worse yet, oral cancer.
The most serious issue is oral cancer. It’s hard to say what percentage of individuals who smoke will get mouth cancer however the death rate of those who do is high, it is said that 40-50% of all oral cancer cases result in death. This has not changed in the last few decades.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 90% of individuals with mouth cancer ex: Lips, Throat, Tongue or mouth have used tobacco in some form. Equally the risk of oral cancer is six times greater between smokers relative to non-smokers. Each person’s risk of oral cancer is dependent on how long they have been using tobacco. The longer the time used the greater the risk.
Smoking has been linked to periodontal disease for the last few decades. It begins with an inflammation of the gums, as it progresses the bone supporting the roots of your teeth will become inflamed. Then the bone with lies underneath starts to deteriorate. Your dentist can detect periodontal disease at any point of the progression and will recommend surgical and nonsurgical treatments to slow the progression of the disease. Periodontal disease will eventually lead to tooth loss and jawbone damage.
Protect Your Health
Following these 3 steps to ensure excellent oral health.
- Stop Smoking: Your risk of oral health issues decreases drastically. A decade after you have quit your risk for gum disease is similar to that of a person who has never touched tobacco.
- See your Dentist regularly: Regular checkups by your dentist are a great way to catch oral cancer early. Any mouth ulcers you may be concerned with can be checked by have a biopsy and receive a diagnosis.
- Brush Correctly: Most individuals who develop periodontal disease acquire it from not brushing and flossing properly. The carcinogens and heat found in tobacco and cigarettes are also harmful to your mouth. This being said people who smoke or use tobacco need to be particularly careful about brushing and flossing. Talk to your dentist or hygienist to assure that you’re brushing and flossing correctly.
Talk to your dentist or doctor today about what you can do to kick your tobacco or smoking habit for good!
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