If you smoke (or chew tobacco), you have probably heard many times about the health risks that are part of having that habit. Well, our general dentist in Homestead, Dr. Robert Cuckler, would like you know what tobacco use can mean to your teeth, gums, and your overall oral health. Some of the negative consequences that come from smoking are cosmetic. Your tooth can become stained or discolored and you can suffer from bad breath. But we’re mostly concerned here with the health aspects of tobacco. Quitting the habit is always the best option, but even cutting down is a better option than doing nothing at all.
Gum disease is most certainly a risk that is increased by using tobacco. And It can cause problems with the way bone and soft gum tissue is attached to your teeth and interfere with the normal operation of gum tissue. Weakened gums makes you more susceptible to tooth loss. You become more prone to infections and this is a fertile ground for periodontal disease to spread. Blood flow to the gums can be hampered too, meaning that wounds can be far slower to heal. If you undergo oral surgery at any point, including tooth extractions, or you need periodontal treatment, impaired healing can be a most unwelcome concern. Our general dentist in Homestead would like to see you have optimal oral health.
Other types of oral concerns that are related to smoking and chewing tobacco are inflammation of the salivary gland openings located at the roof of your mouth, bone loss in the jaw, white patches in the mouth, and more chance of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Should you ever favor getting dental implants, your chances for a successful procedure drop significantly if you are a smoker. And, of course, oral cancer is a much greater possibility for those who indulge in regular tobacco use. Our general dentist will screen you for oral cancer- and other possible problems whether or not traced back to tobacco, as part of your twice yearly dental exam. But there is a world of difference between treating a disease and preventing it from occurring it all. Don’t be fooled. Pipes and cigars are no more healthy for you than cigarettes or smokeless tobacco. To promote the best health and strongest environment for your teeth, gums, and jaws, giving up tobacco is your best bet.