Most people are aware of the health problems that can occur if you smoke or chew tobacco, but your lungs and heart are not the only things that can be affected if you light up.
According to your Dentist in Chicago, Dr. Genaro Romo, smoking can have a lasting and distinctive impact on your oral health and can lead to some serious dental issues including, but not limited to:
- Tooth discoloration
- Salivary gland inflammation on the roof of your mouth
- Bone loss in your jaw
- Build up of tartar and plaque
- Increased risk of white patches, or leukoplakia on the inside of your mouth
- Gum disease
- Delayed healing after periodontal treatment or extractions
- Lower dental implant success rate
- Higher risk of oral cancer
Smoking, even with pipes and cigars, can lead to gum disease as it affects the soft tissue around your teeth. According to your Chicago Dentist, smoking will interfere with normal gum tissue cell function making you much more susceptible to infections. Smoking can also impair the blood flow to your gums.
Just like cigarettes, cigar and pipe smoking can cause dental problems. A study conducted by the American Dental Association, showed that cigar smokers experience bone loss and tooth loss at the same rate as cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers and cigar smokers are also susceptible to throat cancers even though they do not inhale.
If you chew tobacco, you are not safe either. Snuff contains at least 30 chemicals that can increase your risk of throat and oral cancer. Your Dentist in Chicago will tell you that chewing tobacco products contain more nicotine than cigarettes making it more difficult to quit. Most people have no idea that one can of chewing tobacco has as much, if not more, nicotine than sixty cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco will irritate your gum tissue. This causes your gums to pull away or recede. Once this occurs the exposed roots become more sensitive to irritants making drinking and eating uncomfortable.
If that isn’t enough, your Dr. Romo will tell you that flavors are added to some brands of chewing tobacco in order to improve the taste. Those flavors contain sugar that can drastically increase tooth decay. In fact, a study by the ADA has shown that those who chew tobacco are four times more likely to develop tooth decay.