7 Things to Know About Tobacco and Your Oral Health
You don’t need to be told that smoking/using tobacco products is bad for your lungs. Every day you are bombarded by articles and ads that tell you this. But, do you know what smoking and/or the use of tobacco does to your oral health? Here are 7 things you should know.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Stains Your Teeth and Tongue.
Because your teeth are porous, they absorb the nicotine and tar in tobacco products.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Dulls Your Sense of Taste and Smell.
The taste buds of tobacco users have been found to be flatter compared to those of non-smokers. Because of this, tobacco users find food to be less palatable.
Additionally, breathing in toxic smoke dulls the sense of smell. Because the sense of smell is dulled it decreases the ability to taste many foods.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Can Lead to Gum Disease.
Smokers have an increased buildup of plaque on their teeth Due to this increased plaque buildup, studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease versus non-smokers.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Can Lead to Tooth Loss.
Because smokers are at a higher risk for gum disease, they are also at a higher risk for tooth loss. It’s important to note that smokers may not be eligible for many tooth replacement options such as tooth implants as the gums will not be healthy enough to support the implants.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Causes Bad Breath.
Smoking affects your breath in three ways. First, the tobacco products themselves cause bad breath due to the chemicals they contain. Smoking can also cause “dry mouth” which is a contributing factor to bad breath. Lastly, smoking can lead to oral hygiene issues which can cause bad breath.
- Smoking /Tobacco Use Can Lead to Oral Cancer.
Studies have shown that smoking/tobacco use causes 80%-90% of all oral cancers.
- Smoking/Tobacco Use Can Slow Healing After Oral Surgery.
Smoking limits the growth of blood vessels which can make healing from oral surgeries more difficult. Additionally, smoking reduces your body’s ability to fight off infections putting you at a higher risk of problems following surgery.
The solution to these issues is easy: Stop smoking and/or using tobacco problems. Of course, stopping smoking is not an easy thing to do. Seek help to quit smoking so you can not only improve your lung health, but also your oral health.