Tobacco use, such as smoking, will negatively impact your health, including your oral health. Here are a few of the concerns that can result from the effects of nicotine and tobacco. Hopefully they will give smokers an extra push to give up the unhealthy habit.
Some of the effects of tobacco and nicotine are more of a nuisance. Smoking leaves behind a yellow tinge on your teeth, detracting from your smile’s appearance, in addition to giving you bad breath. While your dentist may be able to provide you with a teeth whitening treatment to reverse the discoloration, it’s best to avoid it in the first place.
Of course, smoking has more serious consequences, as well. It can cause inflammation that compromises your gum tissue and makes them more susceptible to infection, like that found in gum disease. If this condition is left unchecked and the patient continues to use tobacco, tooth and bone loss may ultimately result.
Tobacco use also correlates with an increased risk of leukoplakia (white patches in the mouth) and oral cancer. Your dentist can detect oral cancer with a thorough exam, but often this diagnosis isn’t made until after the cancer has spread beyond the mouth, which has a much poorer prognosis.
Another symptom associated with tobacco use includes more plaque and tartar accumulation. Smoking can also interfere with the process of healing after an oral surgery procedure, like wisdom tooth extraction or dental implant placement.
Some patients may feel that smokeless tobacco is a safer product, but its use can have the same effects as smoking.
Talk to our dental team at East Hills Dental Associates to learn more about the effects that tobacco and nicotine have on your oral health if you smoke cigarettes, cigars or a pipe or use chewing tobacco. We can also give you guidance on smoking cessation if you decide that you want to quit. It’s never too late to take that step and give your oral health a boost!