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Tobacco - 7 Ways it Affects Your Dental Health

BDS, MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Advanced course in maxillofacial sugery
Dentist, Lucknow  •  45 years experience
Tobacco - 7 Ways it Affects Your Dental Health

Tobacco has many ill effects on the health and dental health is one of them. From dark stains to poor gum health to increased incidence of decay to the more severe oral cancer, tobacco has a very detrimental effect on your dental health. Read on know more about how harmful tobacco can be on the dental system.

  1. Brown teeth and tongue: One of the tell-tale signs of a smoker are the brown teeth and stained tongue. A dentist need not even be told that the person smokes, it just shows!! What is interesting is that these stains do not go away with a scaling, they just continue to form as long as tobacco is being put into the system.
  2. Gum disease: The oral health of a smoker is definitely not at its best. With the stains on the teeth, the gums are more prone for irritation and infection. This leads to grayish, unhealthy gums. The periodontal fibers are also affected, leading to bad breath, pocket formation and even tooth mobility in severe cases. The mouth is generally drier in comparison and so bacterial growth is more favored, further accelerating the process of gum disease and teeth decay.
  3. Dental caries: The increased amount of bacteria leads to greater incidence of dental decay. Chances of cervical decay (around the gum line) and root decay are higher in smokers.
  4. Bad breath: There are two reasons to it one is the tobacco per se and the second is the dry mouth, which leads to reduced saliva and increased bacterial growth.
  5. Impaired taste: The tongue has a constant coating too, leaving the taste buds unable to completely taste food substances. Ask any smoker a couple of questions and you would realize how they never get to enjoy and taste the food as it should be.
  6. Poor healing: Whether it is a gum disease, a tooth removal or a root canal therapy, smokers who go for dental treatment need a longer time to respond compared to nonsmokers. If smoking is continued at the same pace, then the chances of developing a dry socket with an extraction or a failed root canal therapy are quite high. There are more failures reported in success of implant in smokers as compared to non smokers.
  7. Cancer: The most dangerous and the most severe of all, cancer of the cheek, gums, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth can all happen in smokers, twice more likely in comparison with non-smokers.

Now, if all these are not good enough to kick the habit, remember this list is only for the mouth and the teeth. The whole body goes through a lot more harmful effects, and that should be a good reason to quit tobacco use in any form. If you need professional help, do not be embarrassed to seek.

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