Using tobacco in any form will have numerous detrimental physical effects, from increasing your risk of cancer to compromising lung function and having a harmful effect on your oral health. Accordingly, the dentists at Oahu Dental Care in Hawaii urge their patients to stop using tobacco as soon as possible—or to never start in the first place. The following information illustrates just how dangerous smoking and chewing tobacco can be to both general and dental health.
All Forms of Tobacco Can Cause Damage
Tooth staining is common for long-term smokers, as is gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking decreases the abilities of your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off infection. Smoking can also cause foul breath odors, which are often hard to get rid of.
If you’ve recently undergone oral surgery, smoking can also delay the healing process and may even result in a dry socket. This is a painful condition where the protective blood clot covering the surgical site is displaced. Pain and discomfort can become quite intense, and in some cases, the sensation may extend into your ear.
Of course, some people believe that smokeless tobacco is a safer alternative—but this is false. The risk of mouth cancer is still significant for people who partake in smokeless tobacco, since the substance is kept inside the mouth for a long period of time while in use. Much like smoking, chewing tobacco can also encourage gum disease and can even contribute to a greater chance of tooth decay. This is thanks to the addition of sugar, which is intended to make the substance more palatable.
How to Stop Smoking
The health benefits of quitting are immediate in some cases. However, if you’re struggling, the American Lung Association recommends a few steps to help you on your journey. You can speak with a doctor or dentist for assistance in the form of medication or nicotine patches/gum. Tangible goals and a healthy support system composed of friends and family can also offer comfort when you’re trying to quit.
With two convenient locations in Hawaii, Oahu Dental Care helps their patients maintain optimum dental health no matter what they’re up against. Schedule an appointment with a dentist in Pearl City by calling (808) 456-5005. You can also visit the Honolulu location by calling (808) 732-2821. Visit them online for more information on their complete listing of services, including teeth whitening.