How Using Tobacco Affects Your Oral Health
SMILE BRIGHTER WITHOUT TOBACCO
We're so excited it's World No Tobacco Day (WNTD)! A celebration started by the World Health Organization (WHO), World No Tobacco Day raises awareness of the hazards of tobacco use. At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, our team discourages vaping and other ways to consume tobacco in our Monaca, PA patients since tobacco products are extremely dangerous to your oral not to mention your general health. In the event that you or someone you care about uses any tobacco products, take a minute to learn about how using tobacco can impact the health and appearance of your whole mouth.
TYPES OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS
From cigarettes and cigars to modern hookah bars and vaping, there are loads of ways to use tobacco. No matter how tobacco is packaged, they are all addictive and damaging to your oral health.
- ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES
Also known as e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookah, or hookah pens, electronic cigarettes have a growing popularity, especially in younger men and women. The e-cigarette liquid is burned and turned into an aerosol, which can contain lots of toxins including nicotine, heavy metals (tin, nickel, and lead) as well as other cancer-causing chemicals.
The latest way to consume tobacco, dissolvables are appealing to many because they don't produce smoke and they don't require spitting. Dissolvables look like lozenges and they come in different flavors to make them taste better. These are especially dangerous since they look like candy and can be toxic to younger children.
Ordinarily including a sweet flavor (for example, mint, cherry, or licorice), hookah or waterpipe smoking has become a social phenomenon in hookah bars across America. However, hookah smoking is as toxic as cigarette smoke.
Available with filters and without, as well as in light or menthol, cigarettes are what most people today associate with tobacco. Readily available at most Monaca, PA stores, cigarettes are still a popular choice among tobacco users.
Traditional cigars, as well as little cigars (cigarillos), typically have more tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide compared to cigarettes, but they are seen by many as a better choice. Cigar clubs can make smoking cigars seem sophisticated or masculine, but it is still dangerous to your oral and overall wellness.
- SMOKELESS TOBACCO
More often known as chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco comes in cans known as dip or snuff. While chewing tobacco saves people around you from second-hand smoke, an average dip has as much nicotine as four cigarettes. A can of dip normally mixes the tobacco with sand and grit, which grinds on your enamel.
IS IT SAFE TO VAPE WITHOUT TOBACCO?
Vape pens are a relatively new product, so there are not many studies on long-term health problems. However, even though they may not add tobacco, e-cigarette users are inhaling dangerous materials. Current research also indicates that adolescents and teens who vape without tobacco are more likely to start smoking cigarettes when they are older. To be safe, it's better to not use e-cigarettes.
WHAT TOBACCO DOES TO YOUR ORAL HEALTH
A main cause of preventable disease and death, tobacco does not have any health benefits and a good deal of disadvantages. Some of the most prominent effects of using tobacco on your oral health are:
- BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)
Your family, friends, and the rest of the world might be keeping a safe distance because using tobacco causes bad breath. The smell of tobacco is so strong that even mints, mouthwash, and brushing your teeth may be insufficient to eliminate your breath problems.
- HIGHER RISK OF GUM DISEASE
In particular chewing tobacco, but any form of long-term tobacco use raises your risk of gum (periodontal) disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis (the two stages of gum disease) include symptoms like bleeding gums, loose teeth, and gumline recession.
- COMPLICATIONS AFTER ORAL SURGERY
Tobacco negatively affects your immune and circulatory systems, which is why patients are told not to smoke or use tobacco before or after a surgery or medical procedure. So, in order to restore the damage done to your teeth and gums by tobacco, you will need to quit using tobacco or you may have serious complications and a slow recovery.
- HIGHER RISK OF ORAL CANCER
Your risk of getting cancer in your lips, mouth, salivary glands, tonsils, throat, and esophagus is higher if you use tobacco. According to statistics by the American Cancer Society, 90% of patients with oral cancer have used tobacco products. The longer you use tobacco products, the greater your risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer.
- STAINED OR YELLOW TEETH
Using tobacco leaves stains on your enamel and makes your smile appear dull and yellow. After you quit, professional home or in-office laser whitening treatments can remove years of tobacco stains and brighten your smile.
GET HELP QUITTING TOBACCO
Any product with tobacco is addictive so we understand that it's difficult to give it up. If you are thinking about quitting, talk to a primary care doctor in Monaca, PA to learn about tobacco cessation aids. Your doctor may be able to write you a prescription for a medication (such as Zyban or Chantix) or recommend other products (nicotine patches, lozenges, gum, inhalers, or nasal spray). If you prefer, you can also try more holistic treatments, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) with a certified therapist, group therapy, acupuncture, or hypnotherapy. One or a combination of these may be the trick to helping you quit so if one doesn’t work for you, keep trying. Research your health insurance benefits to determine if they have any programs or discounts on tobacco cessation aids. Quitting tobacco can rapidly improve your health and decrease your risk of many problems, including oral cancer.
RESTORE YOUR SMILE AFTER QUITTING TOBACCO
Once you've quit using tobacco, you may start to turn your attention to restoring your oral health. Schedule an oral health exam and consultation with your dentist in Monaca, PA. They will assess the current condition of your mouth and then create a customized treatment plan to restore your teeth and gums. This might include scaling and root planing to remove tobacco residue and bacteria below your gumline or periodontal surgery if your gumline is receding. If you're looking for an excellent dental practice in Monaca, PA who performs general, restorative, and cosmetic procedures, schedule an exam and cleaning at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.