Whether you smoke cigarettes, a pipe or chew tobacco, you should be aware of the impact that tobacco has on your oral health and overall health. Using tobacco products (smoking or chewing) can lead to a number of dental problems such as:
- Bad breath
- Gum disease
- Jaw bone loss
- Inflammation or swelling in and around the mouth
- Plaque and tartar build-up
- Oral cancer
- The delayed healing process for both oral and other medical procedures
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth loss
Tobacco contains nicotine which is harmful to your mouth. It can also reduce the amount of blood flow through your veins. This means that your gums are not getting the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy. Without blood flow, your gum tissue may die. Nicotine puts you at higher risk for developing gingivitis and periodontitis.
Impacts of Nicotine on Your Oral Health
- cause gum recession (gum line is worn away from the tooth)
- hide symptoms of gum disease
- increase teeth grinding
- cause dry mouth and bad breath
Reducing Your Risks
Kicking the tobacco habit can be more difficult for some than it is for others. There are options available to help you stop smoking. Dr. King or your primary care physician can offer you help to kick your tobacco habit. There are medications such as nicotine gum and patches that will help to calm your nicotine cravings. These can be purchased over the counter.
Prescribed medications such as Zyban have been successful in helping people kick the tobacco habit. Your physician may offer or suggest taking a smoking cessation class or joining a support group in addition to using prescribed medications. Some people have used herbal remedies, acupuncture and even hypnosis to stop smoking and have been successful.
Regardless of which option you choose, know that you will be improving the quality of your oral and overall health and reducing the health risks associated with tobacco use.
Dr. Deborah King and the team at Buckhead Dental Care are committed to providing the best dental care possible to our patients. If you need help kicking the tobacco habit, contact us to schedule a consultation.