We’ve all heard before that tobacco usage is bad for your overall health and could lead to severe diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that tobacco is really problematic for your oral health as well.
Some oral health conditions related to smoking include:
- Tooth discoloration
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Dulled sense of taste
- Slowed healing after dental surgery
- Increased buildup of plaque and tartar
- Increased risk of developing gum disease which can cause swelling in the gums and tooth loss
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
Smokeless tobacco isn’t much better either. Chewing tobacco has been connected with increased risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus. In addition, chewing tobacco can irritate your gums, causing the tissue to recede and exposing tooth roots to dental decay.
When it comes to tobacco, the best thing you can do for your mouth is quit immediately. Develop a plan for removing tobacco from your life and set up a support network of people who can help you stick to your goals. Keep yourself occupied by chewing gum and exercising regularly. If necessary, talk to your doctor to see if there are medications available to help you quit.