How Tobacco Use Affects Your Oral Health
Tobacco use is not only bad for your overall health, but it also increases your chance of tooth loss. Tobacco contains several chemicals that directly affect the function and structure of your nerves, blood, and bones. Therefore, you need to be extra diligent about your oral hygiene if you use tobacco products. Here is more information about how tobacco products affect your teeth and other parts of your mouth.
Ways Tobacco Ruins Teeth
No matter how you use tobacco, the substance will have a noticeable effect on your teeth. If you fail to take action, then you may have more serious complications over time. Here are some examples of common tobacco-related problems.
All types of tobacco use leave stains on your teeth. These stains may be difficult to remove without special treatment. Several smoker’s toothpastes and other related products are on the market and may help with this problem. However, if you wait too long to address the problem, the stains could become very deep and possibly permanent.
Increased Plaque Buildup
Tobacco use has an effect on your saliva makeup and amount. These changes can increase your mouth’s natural bacteria and allow it to stick more easily on your teeth. This creates a thick plaque that contributes to tooth damage and loss.
Increased Bone Loss
Tobacco users, especially smokers, are more likely to suffer from bone loss and osteoporosis. Smokers often suffer from poor blood flow and oxygen saturation. This affects the transport of minerals and bone-forming materials needed to maintain a good, healthy jaw bone.
Increased Chance of Implant Failure
Because tobacco affects bone growth, you may recover more slowly and have less success with an implant than a non-tobacco user. Your implant may be slow to heal, and this increases the chance of damage or looseness.
Effects of Tobacco on Gums
Besides general damages to your mouth, tobacco use has a direct effect on your gums. Tobacco affects the blood vessels as well as the amount of oxygen your blood carries. Also, tobacco lowers your body’s resistance to infection. Because of these issues, smoking and tobacco use are a leading cause of gum disease.
These issues also make gum care a challenge. If you don’t take extra care and diligence with your gums, then you could experience tooth loss. On top of that, if you need surgery or extractions, you will heal more slowly and have an increased risk of complications.
Complications of Tobacco Use
In addition to direct effects on the teeth and gums, tobacco use also affects other parts of your mouth. For example, you are at an increased chance of oral cancer in both your mouth and throat. Also, you are more likely to acquire leukoplakia, irritating and uncomfortable white patches on the inside of your mouth. Tobacco can also cause the salivary glands to swell up and possibly form hard stones or tumors.
Techniques to Protect Your Oral Health
To reduce your chance of tooth and gum problems, you will need to pay extra attention to your mouth. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once. Tooth whitening products may help with mild to moderate tooth stains. Mouthwash can help with bad breath, but it is not a substitute for good oral hygiene.
In addition to the actions listed above, perform a self-exam of your mouth and gums often. Look for any strange growths or lesions and see a dentist if you see anything unusual. The earlier these problems are found, the less likely they will spread or get worse.
If you continue to use tobacco products, then you need to take extra care of your teeth. This not only means you need to practice good oral hygiene, but you also need regular examinations by your dentist. Apollo Dental Center can help you with your dental hygiene. Give us a call and set up an appointment for an examination and cleaning.