Tobacco and Oral Health
By now, almost everyone is aware that every package of cigarettes contains a warning label. When most people see that label, they generally think about smoking-related diseases like lung cancer and emphysema. What many people don’t know is that tobacco use can actually make people more prone to gum disease, which in turn can lead to tooth loss.
There are a number of issues regarding oral health and tobacco use the people should know about, and these should also be covered with you dentist in your next family dentistry visit in Edina.
Oral Health Problems Related to the Use of Tobacco
Gum disease, which is a bacterial infection, can destroy the soft tissue in the mouth as well as the bone. Once gum infection is present, it can get worse, ultimately causing gum tissue to break down and pull away from the teeth. What is left is a formation referred to as “pockets.”
When smokers develop gum disease, it tends to progress more quickly than it does in people who do not smoke.
Gum disease treatment is more difficult in smokers because smoking can inhibit the healing process. Many experts believe it is because of the chemicals that are found in tobacco. Cigar and pipe smokers, as well as those who chew tobacco, are at the same risk for gum disease.
If you are a smoker who has already suffered tooth loss and had missing teeth replaced with dental implants, smoking increases the risk that the implants will not be successful.
Cancer Linked to Tobacco Use
The American Cancer Society reports that smokers are as much as six times more likely than non-tobacco users to develop mouth and throat cancers, as well as cancers of the lips, cheek, and gums. This is in addition to other cancers smokers are at a higher risk of developing, including cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, bladder, and kidneys.
The good news is that as soon as users stop using tobacco products, their risks for these problems can decrease right away. It’s certainly worth it to protect your oral and your overall health!
For more information on oral health and tobacco, call 50th and France for family dentistry in Edina!