Tobacco Use and Your Teeth

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You’ve heard it all before-smoking is bad for your lungs, your throat, and your general health. You know that smoking causes cancer, and you probably know that smoking stains your teeth.  However most people do not know that tobacco use and your teeth are not a good combination.   There are many other oral health problems caused by tobacco products that you may not be aware of.

Any tobacco use (smoking or chewing) will increase the risk of tooth decay. Most tobacco products are mixed with a lot of different ingredients (including sugar). Any tobacco use will cause excessive plaque build-up on your teeth which will lead to a greatly increased risk of cavities and gum disease.

Tobacco products are designed to allow large amounts of nicotine to enter the bloodstream through the surfaces in your mouth. This means tobacco has highly abrasive ingredients to help increase the absorption and blood flow by agitating your gums. Gum agitation dramatically increases the risk of gum disease, which leads to exposure of the base of your teeth to germs, bacteria, and decay. The abrasive materials wear down tooth enamel at a faster rate than normal, which also leads to quicker tooth decay. Chewing tobacco often causes recession severe enough that the teeth could be lost.

In addition, the plaque build-up and the tobacco residue left on your teeth and gums leads to some horrible breath that is hard to mask and wash away. And yes, tobacco use of any kind will also stain your teeth shades of yellow and brown- not attractive!

Tobacco use also severely limits the ability for your mouth to heal itself, making it harder for wounds, surgery, or gum disease to heal. Smoking greatly decreases the success rate of dental implants, as well.

If you use tobacco products, such a cigarettes, chew, or cigars, you should be fully aware of the damage they do to your teeth and gums.

If you are looking for ways to stop using tobacco products, chat with us next time you are in the office!

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