Tobacco And Its Effects On Your Oral Health

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

It lingers in your clothes, curtain, and even in your upholstery. It pollutes the environment and most importantly it harms your health. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco cause several side effects to your body. And your oral health is the first to suffer. Some of the common oral health problems caused by tobacco includes:Broken Teeth

  • Teeth discoloring
  • Bad breath
  • Inflammation of the salivary gland
  • Development of gum disease
  • Tartar and plaque build-up
  • Development of oral cancer
  • Delayed healing after dental treatments
  • Possible loss of bones in the jawbone

Gum Disease

Cigarette smoking or using tobacco products can damage the cells in your gums, increasing your risk of developing gum disease. Smoking affects the cells in your gums in a way that it does not function normally causing the tissues attached to your bones to loosen up. As a result, smokers are at greater risk of getting an infection and other periodontal diseases. Also, the decreased blood flow, caused by smoking, delays wound healing after dental treatments (i.e. tooth extraction). Nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict; causing the delay in the transportation of important nutrients that promotes wound healing.

Other Implications of Smoking to Your Oral Health

Studies have repeatedly shown that loss of bone in the jaw bone area and tooth loss are the same for cigar and cigarette smokers. This goes for pipe smokers too. Pipe and cigar smokers are also at a higher risk of developing throat and oral cancers, despite the fact that they don’t actually inhale the smoke coming from the tobacco. Other effects may include teeth discoloration, and bad breath.


Other Tobacco Products that is Equally Harmful to Your Health


Although these tobacco products are smokeless, snuff and chewable tobacco contains chemicals and compounds that can lead to throat and/or oral cancer. In fact chewable tobaccos contain a higher level of nicotine than cigarettes, while snuffs have more nicotine than 3 packs of cigarettes.


Smokeless tobacco causes irritation in your gum tissue, which causes it to pull away or recede from the teeth. This leave the roots of your teeth exposed to potential development of tooth decay and other infections. Also, there is an increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and to other irritants. This is normally experienced when you eat or drink warm or cold food and beverages.

Studies suggest that smokeless tobacco users are more likely to have tooth decay. These products often contain added sugar to enhance the flavors, which contributes to the increased chance of tooth decay. Some of these products also have grit and sand, which can wear your teeth down.

Tobacco, whether it’s a smokeless tobacco or a cigarette, causes several oral health problems which can further harm your overall health. Cigarettes in particular contain numerous chemicals and compounds that are dangerous to your health. Some of which are toxic (i.e. cyanide) and/or are used in cleaning products. Tobacco, regardless of its form, is very dangerous to your health. Quitting today is your best chance to avoid its many harmful effects.


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