Tobacco and Your Oral Health

tobacco-and-your-oral-health

Actual Patient. Smile Created by Hamlin Dental Group Dentist.

Nearly 5 million deaths annually are directly or indirectly related to tobacco, and that number is expected to double by 2030. Tobacco has been linked to asthma, stroke, heart attack, cancer, and other serious health issues, and while researchers are constantly searching for a cure, the best option we have for now is prevention.

The effects of smoking start with the first puff. The tobacco can delay healing in your mouth, and you may be prone to sores and poor wound healing as well as dry mouth and bad breath. Smokers and chewing tobacco users are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease, cavities, oral infections, and tooth loss. They are more likely to need root canal therapy, and they are more likely to suffer from complications after dental extractions and oral surgery. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are also at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, particularly if you also use alcohol.

While it can be tough to quit, quitting remains the single best way to reduce your risk not just of tobacco-related dental problems but also other health issues. Tobacco-cessation programs are available and can make it easier to abandon the substance. Our dentist’s team can give you the support and information you need to successfully kick the habit. Healthy habits can nourish your body as you cut back on tobacco or quit entirely, and you can find new hobbies or exercises to replace those old habits that were so unhealthy. You can try sugar-free gum to keep your mouth busy, and sugar-free gum which can also be good for teeth by stimulating saliva flow and combating cavity-causing bacteria.

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