Most of us are well aware of the negative effects that smoking has on your overall health. However, smoking also has a significant negative impact on your oral health. Besides causing bad breath and tooth discoloration, smoking can also cause more serious oral health problems such as periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer.
Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in the United States. Smoking and using other tobacco products can lead to periodontal disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to you teeth. Also, it appears that smoking interferes with the normal functions of gum tissue cells making smokers more susceptible to gum disease. This interference may also impair blood flow to the gums which may affect wound healing and make dental procedures such as dental implants less effective.
Oral cancer is a serious type of cancer found in the oral cavity and/or throat. Your risk for developing this type of cancer is much higher if you are a smoker. The mortality rates with oral cancer are higher than many other types of cancer because it is commonly discovered in the later stages. This makes oral cancer screening a very important part of regular dental checkups.
Quitting smoking can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, oral cancer and many other serious medical conditions. It can also improve both the appearance and the health of your teeth and gums and help you to keep your teeth longer. For more information about the effect of smoking on your oral health, talk to a qualified Dentist in your local area. You can also find helpful information regarding smoking cessation on The American Cancer Society website.
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