It isn’t just lung problems you can develop when it comes to the impacts of smoking and other forms of tobacco on your body. Whether it’s cigarettes or chewing tobacco, it can cause many problems to develop in your mouth. Dr. Robert Gauthier of Apex Dental, a dentist in Northborough, explains how tobacco can mess with your oral health.
It Stains Your Teeth
Due to the tar and nicotine in cigarettes, in particular, your teeth get stained over time. You’ll notice a yellow color developing on your teeth that you can’t get rid of even with your whitening toothpaste. Stains like these will usually need to be solved with professional teeth whitening or other cosmetic treatments.
It Increases Your Chance of Cancer
The harmful chemicals in both smoking and chewing tobacco put you at a higher risk for cancer in various parts of the body. Smoking increases the chance of cancer in your lungs and mouth in particular. Chew can also harm your mouth, as well as the esophagus, voice box, and other parts of the digestive system because the juice from the chew can slip down your throat.
Your Teeth Wear Down Faster
In products like cigars and chewing tobacco, there are tiny, abrasive particles present that you may not notice. They’re there, though, and contribute to wearing your teeth down faster. When mixed with your saliva, it creates a paste that rubs against your teeth. Erosion on your teeth contributes to sensitivity on your teeth, as the nerves become exposed due to the erosion.
Higher Risk for Gum Disease (That’s Also Harder to Treat)
People that use tobacco are twice as likely to get gum disease compared to those that don’t partake. And if you develop gum disease as a smoker, it’s harder to treat. Your immune system suffers when you’re a smoker and is incapable of doing the job properly. This makes it harder for your body to fight off the symptoms of gum disease.
You’re also more likely to get sick in general. For example, if you’re suffering from bleeding gums due to gum disease, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Since your immune system isn’t as strong, the infection can turn into something serious, like sepsis. If you get oral surgery or other treatment for gum disease, smoking can limit the growth of blood vessels, so it’ll take you longer to heal from this treatment.
Fewer Treatment Options for Dental Problems
If infection and decay from tobacco have made you lose teeth as well, it can be harder to replace them. Smoking causes reduced blood flow in the mouth, as well as an increase in bacteria and inflammation. This can make you ineligible for certain tooth replacement options like dental implants. Your jawbone may have been weakened due to decay, making it unable to provide the support that dental implants need.
Visiting Your Northborough Dentist
Regular checkups from your dentist can help keep your oral health on track. Your dentist can screen for oral cancer and other problems caused by a past or present tobacco habit. Call us or schedule an appointment online.