For most people, the fact that tobacco use is harmful to your health is not news. After all, tobacco companies have been embroiled in legal battles regarding the deadly product that they sell for years. Because your mouth is the window to the rest of your body, attention should also be paid to the effects that tobacco has on your oral health. Today, we take a look at those effects, and why your dentist urges you to quit if you use tobacco products.
Your Oral Health, On Tobacco
One of the most commonly-known dangers of smoking is the dramatically increased risk of cancer, including oral cancer. However, bombarding your mouth with chemically-laced tobacco products can also lead to bad breath, discolored teeth, inflamed salivary glands, and an increased risk of developing gum disease. Smoking can interfere with normal cell functions, including gum tissue cells, which can adversely affect the connective tissue that holds your gums to your teeth. The interference can cause your gums to separate from your teeth, creating small pockets for bacteria to gather and cause infection. Smoking also inhibits blood flow to the gums, which can hinder the healing process and render you ineligible for some dental procedures.
What About Smokeless Tobacco?
Because much of the attention is given to smoking and lung cancer, some people believe that smokeless tobacco products must be safer. They are wrong. In fact, one can of snuff delivers as much nicotine as up to 60 individual cigarettes (by contrast, one pack of cigarettes only contains 20). Aside from nicotine, smokeless tobacco has at least 28 chemicals that are known to increase the risk of cancer development. Little known ingredients of smokeless tobacco also include sugar, which facilitates tooth decay, and sand/grit, which can strip your teeth of enamel and damage the tooth structure.
Learn More About the Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Use
Despite warnings of its consequences, people continue to indulge in tobacco use, which is having serious consequences on the state of their oral health. To learn more about these effects and why you should quit, schedule a consultation with your dentist by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678.