Tobacco and oral health just don’t make a healthy relationship. Tobacco is a substance that happens to be one of the most addictive habits anyone can pick up; it has also been well studied and documented to be associated with many health risks, including your oral health. It’s not the tobacco that’s addicting either, it’s the nicotine naturally found inside of the tobacco plant that reels you in.
How does tobacco and smoking impact my oral health?
Your Newport Beach dentist is going to cover the possible damage that can be done orally by consuming tobacco either in it’s notorious smoke form and also by a lesser known habit, chewing tobacco. Both present serious dental risks.
- Gum Disease (also known as Periodontal Disease)
- Tooth decay
- Bad breath
- Gums that pull back away from your teeth (gum recession)
- Increased chance of dental implant failure/infection
- Problems with orthodontic appliances
- Cancer of the mouth or throat
- Dry mouth
- Yellowish teeth over time
- Takes more time for mouth to heal after an oral surgery procedure
The main problem with smoking is its ability to interfere with the natural process of your mouth. Our bodies were designed to fight off the bacteria that constantly lurk in our mouths. Saliva is important for maintaining healthy teeth. This is why the American Dental Association (ADA) has given its seal of approval to certain brands of gum that meet their criteria. Why is this? Because gum stimulates saliva production, which is helpful in fighting harmful bacteria. When we smoke, we limit our saliva production, in turn allowing the harmful bacteria to eat away at your gums, teeth, and tongue.
The best thing you can do for yourself and the people around you (secondhand smoke can put others in danger) is to drop the habit and pick up a new habit that isn’t as dangerous. There’s a reason why a Surgeon General warning exists on each tobacco product: to seriously warn you that you are putting yourself in danger.