How Are Tobacco Products Affecting My Oral Health?

For years, health experts have highlighted the dangers of tobacco products. There are no safe products to consume — or a safe amount to consume. It’s best to steer clear of all tobacco products in the first place. However, if you already smoke cigarettes or cigars, or chew tobacco products, the Advanced Dentistry team encourages you to take steps to dial back your use of these products — or attempt to quit them entirely. They can have a large and lasting impact on your oral health, which Advanced Dentistry is committed to protecting.

Do tobacco products harm my oral health?

In short, yes. All tobacco products can impact your oral health in a negative way, which is why it is essential to limit or restrict your use of these products.

Is one type of tobacco product better than another for my oral health?

There unfortunately isn’t a tobacco product that is better for your oral health. Each form of tobacco — whether it’s in a pack or a can — has the potential to do damage.

While some people believe that tobacco products that you don’t smoke, like snuff or chewing tobacco, are better for you, that is actually false. Chewing tobacco contains a much higher amount of nicotine than cigarettes do, meaning that it’s easier to develop and keep a bad habit. This tobacco product can irritate your gums, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth. With the roots exposed like that, your teeth are more susceptible to decay — not to mention more sensitive. To add insult to injury, sugars used to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco can multiply tooth decay risks. Smokeless tobacco also can contain grit, which wears down the surface of your teeth with continued use.

And when it comes to the tobacco that you smoke, it doesn’t matter if you use cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. All three forms of smoking are harmful to your oral health. This includes bad breath, discolored teeth, plaque and tartar buildup, loss of jaw bone, gum disease, delayed healing, and much more.

So what’s the safest form of tobacco that you can use? Not using tobacco to begin with.

What could happen if I continue to use tobacco products?

Not curbing your tobacco habit could have perilous consequences for your oral health.

Even without inhaling, smokers still run the risk of oral and throat cancer. Chewing tobacco also has dozens of chemicals in it that studies have shown increase the risk of oral, throat, and esophageal cancers.

If you notice any out-of-the-ordinary changes inside your mouth, like lingering sores, or anything else that just doesn’t seem normal, don’t hesitate to call and schedule your appointment with Advanced Dentistry as soon as you suspect that there might be an issue. At best, we can help identify any issues early and get you started on a treatment plan. At worst, we’ll rule out any issues and give you peace of mind going forward.

What are some signs of oral cancer?

Only a medical professional can diagnose you, but there are some symptoms that you can be on the lookout for when it comes to possible oral cancer cases. 

> Lingering sores

> Bumps in the mouth or throat

> Red or white patches

> Unexplained bleeding

> Pain or numbness

> Sore throat or swelling

> Chewing and talking issues

> Ear pain

> Abnormal bite

It bears repeating: If you’re worried about something in or around your mouth, come into Advanced Dentistry at your earliest convenience. That’s what we’re here for.

How can Advanced Dentistry help?

Are you worried about how your tobacco use could potentially harm your oral health? The professionals at Advanced Dentistry are here for you. Our experts can help answer your questions about your health risks and even counsel you on the best options for kicking your tobacco habit for good. Remember: There isn’t a “safe” tobacco product — all forms of tobacco cause harm to your oral health. When you do cut back or quit, the risks to your health go down. Now is the time to get your habit under control so that you won’t have to face higher cancer risks — along with the other unpleasant conditions tobacco users are susceptible to.

When you come into Advanced Dentistry for your routine appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth as a part of an oral cancer screening. At this time, you can let your dentist know if there is something in particular you would like examined, or if anything has been going on that isn’t normal for your mouth, tongue, gums, or teeth. 

This screening doesn’t hurt at all and is completely comfortable. Our dentists are professional and thorough, making sure to check everything in the vicinity for any symptoms or indications of conditions. Our quality technology ensures that nothing is missed — even hard to see and access areas.

Give us a call today at Advanced Dentistry at (614) 399-9381.