Smoking and Your Dental Health

dentist DentonOver five decades ago, the surgeon general announced the perils of smoking. The topic was taken so seriously, all advertising was banned from commercial television that encouraged tobacco use. Smoking had been considered glamorous and acceptable for generations; but the truth about the hazards of smoking is not just in heart disease or lung cancer … your dentist can explain the damage smoking is doing to your teeth and gums.

It is an established fact that tobacco users experience a much higher incidence of periodontal disease than non-tobacco users. Periodontal disease can lead to oral discomfort and eventual tooth loss.

One of the primary reasons for halitosis (bad breath) is attributed to tobacco use. Smoker’s breath can be unpleasant, and since many smokers have a diminished sense of taste and smell, they might not even realize the odor emanating from their mouth and clothes.

Yellow, stained teeth are much more likely to appear in a smoker. The incidence of plaque build-up is greater in smokers; plaque build-up is one of the leading causes of dental decay.

But the absolute worst news you can received from your dentist is that you have oral cancer. Incidents of cancer of the soft oral tissues occur at a much higher rate in tobacco users … and not just smoking puts you at risk. Individuals that chew are susceptible to oral cancer as well.

Discontinuing tobacco use may be very difficult, but not impossible. Hundreds of thousands of people have quit smoking by sheer will power. But if you need help with this addiction, your dentist can help you with different cessation methods that have been very successful.

There are over the counter products like nicotine gum; there are nicotine patches available; some have had good results with various forms of therapy. Electronic cigarettes have helped many to transition from dangerous tobacco use to quitting altogether.

Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or chew tobacco, you are actively participating in a health risk that is totally preventable. For additional tips on how to quit smoking, or for more information about the effects smoking has on your oral health, contact the office of Dr. John Withers at (940) 293-2635.