How Tobacco Use Affects Your Smile
You know that smoking is bad for your lungs. Turns out, it’s not so good for your smile, either. In addition to greatly increasing the risk of oral cancer, tobacco can negatively impact your oral health in several ways. In Scottsbluff NE, Dr. Gary Cheloha is your ally in the fight for a healthy smile. He can provide the information and services you need to stop smoking and improve your oral health.
Oral-Related Smoking Risks
Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gums that can results in tooth, gum, and bone loss. It seems that smoking hinders the function of gum tissue cells, which can lead to infection.
Tobacco use has also been shown to delay wound healing. This may be due, in part, to cell function disruption, which may impede blood flow. Delayed wound healing can become detrimental following oral surgery and may prevent you from being a candidate for certain dental procedures, such as dental implant placement.
We’ve already mentioned the heightened risk of oral cancer that tobacco users face. It’s estimated that up to 90% of oral cancer sufferers use tobacco products, with an increase in risk directly connected to how much tobacco you use and how long you’ve used it.
Type of Product/Risk Factor
All types of tobacco products – cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco – pose a risk when it comes to oral health. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed no difference when it came to tooth and bone loss experienced by cigar vs. cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers don’t fare any better in the tooth loss category. And you’re not off the hook if you use chewing tobacco. It can irritate gums and cause them to recede, which raises the risk of tooth decay. Plus, a can of chewing tobacco contains a whopping amount of nicotine – more than you’ll find in 60 cigarettes!
The Bottom Line
The lesson here is don’t smoke. But regardless of whether you use tobacco products, it’s crucial to protect your smile. Call Monument Smiles today to schedule an appointment time Scottsbluff NE dentist Dr. Cheloha.