The Damaging Effects of Tobacco on Your Oral Health
People have known for decades how bad tobacco is for their health. If you smoke cigarettes or cigars, or if you chew tobacco, you should also know about the adverse effects of tobacco on your oral health.
It’s not difficult to spot a smoker in a crowd. Their yellowing teeth and bad breath usually give them away pretty quickly. Your Farmington, NM dentist will confirm that some of the damaging effects of smoking cigarettes include:
- A higher risk of developing oral cancer
- An increased susceptibility to periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss
- Slower healing times after oral surgery
- Chronic bad breath
- Staining of the teeth and tongue
- Diminished sense of taste
- Destruction of the bone and soft tissue that keep your teeth in place
According to the American Lung Association, there are some 7,000 chemicals in tobacco, including formaldehyde, tar, lead, and carbon monoxide. It’s difficult to believe people continue to willingly jeopardize their health using tobacco products.
Smokeless tobacco comes with a host of risks to your oral health. Not only does it contain potentially cancer-causing toxins, but because sugar is often added for flavor, users are also at an increased risk of tooth decay. The sand and grit contained in smokeless tobacco can also cause undue wearing down of the teeth. There is also an increased risk of cancer with smokeless tobacco because users end up swallowing many of the toxins.
As we gear up for a new year, now is a great time to resolve to quit using tobacco products. Smokefree.gov offers a wealth of information and tips for stopping this nasty habit. By making a plan, staying busy, avoiding smoking triggers, staying positive, and asking for help, you can become an ex-tobacco user. Your Farmington, NM dentist will thank you!