The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Tobacco use accounts for most oral cancers. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes; using chewing tobacco; and dipping snuff are all linked to oral cancer. Heavy smokers who use tobacco for a long time are most at risk. The risk increases for tobacco users who drink alcohol heavily.

Check the warning signs of oral disease:
? Bleeding gums during brushing
? Red, swollen, or tender gums
? Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
? Pus between the teeth and gums
? Persistent bad breath
? A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Smoking increase your risk for periodontal disease:

? Calculus – plaque that hardens on your teeth and can only be removed during a professional cleaning.
? Deep pockets between your teeth and gums.
? Loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth.

If the calculus is not removed during a professional cleaning, and it remains below your gum line, the bacteria in the calculus can destroy your gum tissue and cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, periodontal pockets form and fill with disease-causing bacteria.
If left untreated, periodontal disease will progress. As a result, the gums may shrink away from the teeth making them look longer. Without treatment, your teeth may become loose, painful and even fall out.

Effects of Tobacco:
TOOTH ABRASION – Grit and sand in smokeless tobacco products scratches teeth and wears away the hard surface or enamel. Premature loss of tooth enamel can cause added sensitivity and may require corrective treatment.
GUM RECESSION – Constant irritation to the spot in the mouth where a small wad of chewing tobacco is placed can result in permanent damage to periodontal tissue. It also can damage the supporting bone structure.
TOOTH DECAY – Sugar is added to smokeless tobacco during the curing and processing to improve its taste. The sugar reacts with bacteria found naturally in the mouth, causing an acid reaction, which leads to decay.
UNHEALTHY EATING HABITS – Chewing tobacco lessens a person’s sense of taste and ability to smell. As a result, users tend to eat more salty and sweet foods, both of which are harmful if consumed in excess.
HARMFUL NICOTINE – Nicotine addiction can lead to an artificially increased heart rate and blood pressure.
ORAL CANCER – With the practice of “chewing” and “dipping,” tobacco and its irritating juices are left in contact with gums, cheeks and/or lips for prolonged periods of time. All forms of tobacco contain high concentrations of cancer-causing agents.
A sore that does not heal, A lump or white patch, Difficulty in chewing, A prolonged sore throat, Restricted movement of the tongue or jaws,throat pain are some danger signs of cancer
Oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well-being, but also to your overall health. Cavities and gum disease may contribute too many serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Untreated cavities can also be painful and lead to serious infections.

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