The risks of tobacco on your overall health are well-documented. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and marijuana can lead to heart and lung complications, and can affect your dental health as well. At Four Corners Dental Group Fairbanks in Alaska, we help patients understand the potential oral health challenges they may face if they continue smoking.
3 Ways Your Dental Health Suffers When You Use Tobacco
1. Dental Stains & Bad Breath
Over time, the tar and nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products will stain the teeth. Smoking reduces your saliva production. Saliva washes away stain-causing particles from the teeth. Saliva also serves to break down the odor-causing bacteria in our mouths. Without it, you could suffer from halitosis, or bad breath.
2. Periodontal Disease & Tooth Loss
Numerous studies have linked smoking to the development of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this bacterial infection of the gums is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Smokers are at the greatest risk of developing gum disease. When teeth are lost, costly restorations, such as dental implants or dentures, are required to restore functionality.
3. Oral Cancer
Smokers are also more likely to develop oral cancers, which can affect the lips, throat, and tongue. A startling 90% of oral cancer victims are smokers. Quitting use of all forms of tobacco can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer over a 10-year period.
If you are a smoker, it’s imperative to get regular teeth cleanings and dental exams. We can check for signs of gum disease and oral cancer during your appointment. Early detection of these diseases is key in successful treatment. Of course, quitting smoking is the best preventive measure you can take. To learn more about our preventive and restorative dental services, visit our website or give us a call at (907) 479-7771.