What Does Tobacco Do to Your Teeth?

Cartoon of a smoking woman and teeth stating that smokers are four times more likely to lose their teeth.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

If you are one of the millions of Americans who smoke or use tobacco products, chances are your oral health is at risk. Let’s take a look at some of the ways tobacco affects your teeth and impacts your oral health.

Four Ways Tobacco Impacts Your Oral Health

Below are four different ways tobacco plays a negative role on your oral health.

  1. Tobacco Stains Your Teeth
  2. Perhaps the least damaging symptom of tobacco usage is the potential to stain your teeth. Tobacco products contain a host of chemicals that promote staining. They can also cause dry mouth which means these teeth staining substances are less likely to be washed away from the tooth’s surface.

  3. Tobacco Causes Dry Mouth
  4. Dry mouth is a condition that prevents you from producing enough saliva. Saliva is necessary to keep your mouth balanced and bacteria free. Having dry mouth means you’re more likely to develop plaque and bacteria, which can cause bad breath, decay, and gum disease.

  5. Tobacco Decreases Blood Flow
  6. When your blood flow is decreased, it takes longer for your body to heal from injury or damage. If you have damaged gum tissue, for example, you might experience longer healing rates if you use tobacco products. Since swollen, red, and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease, use of tobacco products only accelerates the damage gum disease causes.

  7. Tobacco Causes Oral Cancer
  8. Tobacco products significantly increase your risk of developing cancer, namely oral cancer. This is to be expected given tobacco’s direct content with your mouth. Oral cancer is highly treatable when it is caught early but like all forms of cancer, it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Leesburg, VA

If you don’t use tobacco products, we recommend avoiding them entirely. If you do use them, it’s best to cut back or quit altogether. We know that’s not an easy task, but it’s worth it to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Keeping up a twice daily brushing and flossing regimen, eating a balanced diet, and visiting Leesburg Family Dental twice a year for professional cleanings and exams will also help support a healthy smile. We perform oral cancer screenings as part of your routine examination in order to detect any signs of abnormalities as soon as possible. That’s another reason why it’s important for tobacco users to keep up with regular visits.

Comprehensive, Affordable Dentistry in Leesburg, VA

Regular preventive care visits help us catch all types of potential dental problems that might be developing. They also allow us to develop a treatment plan before the condition progresses too much. Good prevention will save you money in the long run. We offer comprehensive, affordable dental care for the whole family. Please give us a call or book an appointment by clicking the contact link below.

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