How Tobacco Affects Dental Health
Smoking has long been known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, oral cancer, lung cancer, chronic coughing, chronic bronchitis, asthma and pregnancy complications. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 6 million people die annually as a result of smoking-related health issues. Although we know that smoking has serious consequences for our general health, tobacco-related deaths continue to increase. Some medical experts believe that smoking will be the top cause of death within a few decades, killing more people than car crashes, homicides, suicides, HIV and other common health problems. The damage associated with tobacco does not end there, though. Many of these problems first show up in your mouth.
Tobacco has been linked to numerous dental problems, including a heightened risk of tooth decay, gingivitis, tooth loss, gum disease and oral cancer. Smokers are more likely to need root canals, while also being more likely to suffer from complications associated with dental treatments, such as root canals and dental implants. Smoking causes reduced blood flow, which can delay healing, and exposes the tissues in your mouth to hundreds of toxins. It also dries out your mouth, which is why the risk of tooth decay and gum disease is higher in smokers.
Never smoking is the best way to avoid these health consequences, but if you already smoke, you can decrease your potential risks by quitting. Frequent dental checkups and proactive care can help further reduce the risks associated with smoking. Kicking the tobacco habit can be hard, but with the right support, you can take control of your general and dental health. We can help. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
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