If you want to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile, one of the worst things you can do for your oral health is to use tobacco – and that includes smoking as well as all other forms of tobacco use.
You probably already know what smoking does to your lungs and your heart, but your dentist in Stuart, FL, Dr. Rita Medwid, and all other reputable dentists will tell you that it also does a ton of damage to your teeth and gums too. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known to be harmful, and 69 of those are known to cause cancer. As you inhale, the smoke lingers in your mouth before you exhale, even if you don’t fully inhale. Just imagine what those thousands of chemicals are doing, sitting around in your mouth.
Smoking and chewing tobacco is the major cause of mouth, throat, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, tongue, lips and salivary gland cancer. All tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff, contain toxins and carcinogens which are poisonous substances and cancer-causing agents.
It’s been shown to affect your oral health by reducing blood flow to your gums, reducing vitamin C levels necessary for healthy gums and raising the temperature in the mouth, damaging and killing important cells.
The reason chewing tobacco is just as bad as smoking is that it sits in your mouth along the gum line, right inside your check. The chemicals inside it irritate gum tissue, causing it to pull away from the teeth. That irritation makes your gums more prone to gum disease and also puts you at greater risk for tooth decay. It also yellows your teeth and causes bad breath like smoking tobacco. Tobacco chewing also causes leathery white patches and red sores in the mouth that can turn into cancer.
Both smoking and chewing slows the healing process after dental work, particularly tooth extractions and other oral surgery procedures too.
Even if you’ve been smoking or chewing for years, once you quit, your risk of oral health issues begin to decrease, and the longer you abstain, the lower your risk becomes.
The first thing to do to preserve your oral health is to quit tobacco. You’ll also want to be sure to get regular dental checkups by visiting your dentist in Stuart, Fl. As with most cancers, early detection can improve your outcome and regular checkups are the best way to catch oral cancer early.
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.