Why tobacco is bad for your oral health

by: Sandy Johnson, RDH, BA

I’m sure you know all the reasons why smoking and tobacco use aren’t great choices for your body. It’s been proven to cause cancer, respiratory ailments and heart disease. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.

But as if that weren’t bad enough, tobacco use is pretty much the worst thing you can do for your oral health. On top of the increased risk of mouth and tongue cancers, smoking and tobacco use causes:
•    Gum disease
•    Bad breath
•    Plaque and tartar buildup
•    Bone loss
•    Inflamed saliva glands
•    Tooth discoloration
•    Tobacco use also makes dental procedures and surgeries take longer to heal, and dental implant procedures tend to be less successful for smokers.

If you or someone you know need help quitting smoking, check out http://www.smokefree.gov/. Or ask your dentist if they have any suggestions or tips on helping you quit or making up for the damage tobacco may have caused you. 

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