As many of us know, the effects of tobacco use on our health have been well defined, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. However, some might be unaware that tobacco use can cause significant damage to our oral health, as well.
In fact, according to Delta Dental, about 50% of tobacco users have periodontal disease in their gums and smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to lose their teeth and require root canal treatments.
While tobacco use can cause yellow teeth and gums, the most serious potential problem is mouth cancer, according to Thomas Kilgore, DMD, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and associate dean at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
While cigarettes have received the majority of attention in regards to tobacco cessation, smokeless tobacco can also cause serious disease. According to research provided by Delta Dental, smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) is associated with cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips, and users of smokeless tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop these cancers than non-users.
In the end, it appears as though any type of regular exposure to tobacco products can cause damage to our oral health. The best bet is to abstain from all types of tobacco products completely, visit the dentist often to ensure that problems get diagnosed quickly, and to consistently practice a strong routine of oral hygiene, including flossing and brushing each and every day.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.
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