July 30, 2020
We've all been told time and time again that tobacco products are harmful to our bodies. Most public service announcements explain how these harmful products affect the lungs and respiratory system, yet these PSAs seem to gloss over the negative impacts of tobacco on your dental health. The difficult truth is that tobacco products can be just as bad for your teeth and gums as they are for your respiratory system.
Unfamiliar with the long-term effects of tobacco products on your dental health? This article will outline the damage you can personally inflict on your teeth, mouth, and gums if you don’t discontinue the use of tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.
There aren’t any safe forms of tobacco
Contrary to what you may hear people say, there are no safe forms of tobacco for the body. Any form of tobacco, whether it’s smoking a cigarette or chewing tobacco, can be very detrimental to your dental health. In fact, tobacco contains over 30 cancer-causing substances, alone.
If you're currently using tobacco products, it's time to quit. Otherwise, you may experience tooth loss and suffer from a gum infection.
Having a hard time kicking the habit? Consider seeking professional help from a rehab or detox facility, like this new medical detox center in New Port Richey, Florida.
The dangers of second-hand smoke inhalation
We can't discuss the long-term effects of tobacco on dental health without mentioning second-hand smoke inhalation. Many of you know that second-hand smoke inhalation is defined as the inhalation of tobacco-ridden smoke from another person who is using tobacco products in close proximity.
While sitting next to someone who is smoking a pipe or cigarette may seem harmless, second-hand smoke actually contains harmful chemicals that can cause health problems for babies, children, and adults alike. Remember, there’s nothing innocent about second-hand smoke for anyone involved.
The various long-term effects you may experience
While it’s important to acknowledge the importance of avoiding tobacco use in the future for your overall bodily health, you should also zoom in to understand how tobacco use will affect specific areas of your dental health. Let's take a closer look at the various long-term effects you could experience as a result of tobacco use.
Tobacco contains many irritants and sugars that are prone to causing gum disease. Known as periodontal disease, this infection affects the bone structure and gums that support your teeth. Over time, gum disease can lead to a gapping between your teeth and the gums themselves. This can be very painful and will eventually cause your teeth to fall out in the case of severe infection.
When you smoke, a tobacco user may experience teeth yellowing. This is because the nicotine and tar from your cigarettes build up on the surface of your enamel, which can turn your pearly whites yellow in a very short amount of time.
If you’ve used tobacco products for several decades, you'll notice that this buildup will worsen and turn your teeth an ugly brown color. When your smile is the first thing job interviewers, potential romantic interests, and passing strangers notice, you won’t want to sport dingy or browning teeth to a social gathering or job interview.
Weakened jaw bone
Tobacco use can actually wear down the jawbone via regular gum infections. This nasty bone decay can make it nearly impossible to fix structural issues related to your teeth later down the road. Unfortunately, routine fixes like bridges and implants aren’t able to be performed when the jawbone is weakened beyond the ability to support a new structure. This can severely limit the number of dental procedures you can have done to remedy problems with your teeth in the future.
Tobacco, especially snuff, has been proven to cause lip, tongue, and mouth cancer in regular users. Through the toxins that are present in smokeless tobacco, the juice from it can create other types of cancer throughout the body. This includes cancer in the colon, bladder, voice box, and esophagus.
One very painful condition that tobacco products can cause is mouth lesions. These come in many different forms including ulcers, cuts, sores, bumps, and lumps inside of the mouth. Chewing tobacco greatly increases your risk of developing these undesirable lesions in your mouth.
It's just not worth it
Tobacco can cause many long-term effects on your dental health, regardless of what form you use for your fix. From cosmetic oral conditions to life-threatening conditions, there are a plethora of life-threatening and life-altering conditions you can expose yourself to through tobacco use.
Apart from having to deal with the pain and the lack of self-esteem created by these dental conditions, deteriorating dental health will also do a number on your financial status. Not only does the cost of a daily pack of cigarettes accumulate over time, but with poor dental hygiene and tobacco-related damage, you’ll be left to pay for dental-health-related repairs.
While some of these conditions can't be easily remedied, others can have a life-long impact on your dental health, leading to an array of potentially-devastating expenses. With so much on the line, using tobacco is simply not worth the risk when there are so many negative effects.
As you can see, tobacco products can inflict extensive damage and lead to long-term dental health problems. To avoid gum disease, yellow teeth, or tooth loss, there are many ways to combat your addiction, from nicotine patches to rehab facilities. Hopefully, with the possibility of weakening jawbones and forming mouth lesions on the horizon, you’ll be able to kick the habit of using tobacco for good or encourage the loved ones in your life to pursue a tobacco-free lifestyle.