Unlike popular movies and TV shows in the 1940s, people today know that smoking is detrimental to their health. Millions of people worldwide have died or suffered long-term negative health consequences from smoking and tobacco use. While the number of people who smoke in 2021 has dramatically declined, there are still many smoke-related deaths and diseases every year. While you may understand the harmful effects of smoking on your overall health, smoking also negatively affects your oral health.
The adverse effects of smoking go well beyond stained teeth and bad breath. Stained teeth are cosmetic problems that can be changed with teeth whitening, and bad breath can be masked with toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum. However, the following effects of smoking cannot be masked – and they can be deadly.
- Weakened Immune System &ndash Tobacco usage causes people’s immune systems to become compromised. When their immunity is low, they have a weakened defense against oral infections, diseases, and longer recovery from injury or dental surgical procedures.
- Gum Disease – According to the CDC, people who smoke are twice as likely to develop gum disease. Severe gum disease is irreversible, and it is a contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes, miscarriage, and low-weight births.
- Tooth Decay & Tooth Loss – Inside the mouth are millions of oral bacteria. Tobacco enhances bacterial production, which leads to plaque and tartar buildup, cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
- Ulcers & Mouth Sores – Tobacco is an abrasive substance that can cause inflammation and infection. Also, with a weakened immune system (as mentioned above), oral health issues are much more prevalent in tobacco users.
- Gum Recession – Alongside gum disease, decay, and mouth sores, receding gums will also occur. Without full gum coverage, the stability of the teeth and the health of your smile will be compromised.
- Oral Cancer – The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping devices cause mutation in the healthy cells of the mouth and throat. Oral cancer is a deadly disease.
At Ora Dentistry, we encourage you to take control of your health by stopping all tobacco use. Your smile, and your life, depend on it.