Many studies have shown that smoking is a cause of many dental health problems. The nicotine present in the cigarettes can reduce the blood flow to the mouth leading to conditions like bad breath, delayed healing after tooth extraction, the lower success rate of dental implants and more. Smoking also increases the plaque formation on the teeth, as well as the risk of oral cancer.
Dental problems caused by tobacco
The tobacco in the cigarettes and cigars can be a cause of many dental problems. These include:
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad Breath
- Increased formation of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Loss of bone within the jaw
- Risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss
- Developing white patches inside the mouth, i.e. leukoplakia
- Inflammation of salivary glands
- Delayed healing process after tooth extraction, or any crucial dental procedure
- Increase in the risk of oral cancer
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
Effects of tobacco products on dental health
Just like smoking cigarettes and cigars, use of tobacco products is also harmful to oral health. Various studies have proved that chewing tobacco has higher nicotine as compared to cigarettes. In fact, one can of snuff contains as much nicotine as that in 60 cigarettes. This makes quitting tobacco way harder and increases the risk of oral and throat cancer as well.
The chemicals in tobacco can be responsible for the formation of caries in your teeth. The substances in tobacco irritate the gum tissue, causing it to pull away from your teeth. The recession of the gum tissue leads to the exposure of the roots of your tooth and therefore, lead to tooth decay.
The use of tobacco also makes the teeth more sensitive by wearing it off the topical enamel. Thus, tobacco users are more uncomfortable with consuming extremely hot and cold substances. The wearing off of the enamel also results in the formation of cavities inside the mouth, leading to further wear of the teeth.
How can you quit?
If you believe that quitting after being an avid tobacco consumer over the years cannot improve your health, you’re wrong. Researchers have proven that quitting smoking and tobacco even after years of usage greatly affects the health. Quitting can have immediate effects like reduced risk of cancer, and periodontal disease as compared to the ones who haven’t quit.
Mouth lesion leukoplakia is a common condition amongst tobacco users. This condition has been seen to resolve in about 6 weeks of quitting smokeless tobacco products over 95% of patients.
Your doctor will always be your best bet when dealing with quitting as they not only ensure that you quit, but also that you stay healthy at the end of it. Therefore, they may prescribe you various medications like nicotine gum and patches to curb your nicotine cravings. Most patches do not require a prescription and can be bought over the counter as well. They may also suggest joining support groups and therapy groups for a more holistic approach towards quitting tobacco.