Tobacco Use and Your Oral Health
Dental Health Los Gatos
So, just how bad for your oral health is smoking and tobacco use? Let’s clear the air around this question that has been buzzing between dentists and patients for years.
Many people have been desensitized to the horrors associated with tobacco use; health risks like lung cancer and emphysema, as well as aesthetic deterioration including teeth yellowing and increased wrinkle development, are all consequences of tobacco use that smokers and non-smokers alike are likely either personally familiar with or consciously aware of. Perhaps not surprisingly, about 90 percent of individuals with some form of mouth cancer have used tobacco in their lifetime. Tobacco in any form presents dangers to the mouth and lips, and even smokeless tobacco, like chewing tobacco, puts users at serious risk for oral cancer and especially tooth and gum decay.
A less commonly known but equally frightening statistic published by the American Dental Association (ADA) explains that smokers are three to six times more likely to suffer from accelerated periodontitis, or gum disease, as compared to nonsmokers. Chronic periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that swiftly destroys all tissue anchoring teeth into the jaw bone. With enough deterioration over an extended time, this infection often builds from a mild swelling of the gums, to intense sensitivity and severe pain, and ultimately leads to tooth loss. A person might think that he or she can combat tooth loss while maintaining smoking habits, but studies show that tobacco users often endure implant failure and are often consequently left toothless.
Don’t let tobacco be the smoking gun on the detriment of your oral health! Call Dr. Rahimi in his Los Gatos office today at 408-374-3633 to learn more about a healthy, tobacco-free lifestyle that will make everyone around you smile.