3 Ways Tobacco Can Have An Adverse Effect On Your Oral Health
Using tobacco products is a common cause of a variety of health problems. Along with lung disease and other illnesses, it can wreak havoc on your oral health. The following are some ways that tobacco can cause poor health for your mouth:
Tobacco is a prime cause of cancer in many cases, including inside the mouth. If you smoke or place any form of tobacco product in your mouth, you are putting yourself at risk for getting oral cancer of some type. This includes cancer of the tongue, throat, gums, cheeks, and other areas related to the mouth. If you have been a long-term tobacco user, your risk for cancer is greatly enhanced.
Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes is very harmful to the gums, resulting in various forms of periodontal disease. The gums will gradually degrade and cause them to become unstable. This can result in bone damage in your jaw, which can also cause you to lose your teeth because that bone is no longer strong enough to support your teeth. If you have a major problem, you could end up losing part or your entire jawbone. However, keep in mind that if you catch the disease early and you cease using tobacco products, there are ways to reverse any gum damage that has not yet reached the bone.
High Risk For Cavities
Regular tobacco users, especially those sweetened tobacco products, are at a higher risk for getting cavities in the teeth. These tobacco products use sugar to enhance the flavor, which in turn will increase your likelihood for cavities. This will then result in the need for fillings, root canals, crowns, or tooth loss.
Thankfully, there are some ways you can decrease your risk for all of these problems. First and foremost, stop using tobacco products. This is the best way to stop any of these problems from progressing. Secondly, see your dentist regularly. If your oral health is particularly bad, you may need to see the doctor more than the standard twice a year. Finally, pay attention to any changes in your mouth. Look for any bumps, sores, receding gums, or visible tooth decay. If you notice any of these things, get to your dentist as soon as possible.
The health of your teeth can have a major effect on your overall health. If you need help quitting tobacco, consider using nicotine patches to help wean yourself. You can also find a smoking cessation program to help you kick the habit. Your employer may offer these as part of your wellness benefits. Always see your dentist, and report anything that seems odd as soon as possible.