When medical professionals discuss the need to quit smoking with patients, the focus is usually on how bad smoking is for the lungs and heart. Even though we all know that smoking is unhealthy, many people do not want to quit or deny how tobacco can affect their health.
Unfortunately, many tobacco users do not fully realize how tobacco damages their teeth and gums. If you are a tobacco user, here are the effects of tobacco on your oral health you need to know.
1. What is contained in tobacco products?
Smoking, cigars, pipes, and the use of smoking tobacco (sometimes called chewing or snuff) can all adversely affect your teeth. Cigarettes contain approximately 600 ingredients, according to the American Lung Association. When burned, the smoke contains more than 7000 compounds. At least 69 chemical substances are known carcinogens or carcinogens.
There is no doubt that smokeless tobacco is not safer than smoking. According to research conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, smokeless tobacco contains more than 3,000 chemical substances, 28 of which can cause cancer. The nicotine content of smokeless tobacco is three to four times that of ordinary cigarettes.
The following are several chemicals found in tobacco products:
- Acetone for nail polish remover
- Arsenic, used in rodent poison
- Butane and butane inspection, used for sparking fluid
- Carbon monoxide is a car exhaust
- Naphthalene used to make mothballs
Obviously, these compounds are harmful to the human body, including teeth, gums and oral cavity.
2. How do tobacco products affect your teeth and gums?
In addition to causing bad breath, the use of tobacco products can also seriously damage oral health.
1) Tooth discolouration
Just like a smoker’s fingers will get nicotine, if they smoke in their homes, furniture, and cars, the nicotine will get a yellow film on them. Similarly, nicotine will get on your teeth. Tobacco users’ teeth are usually dull and yellow, rather than shiny white teeth. It is even possible to have unsightly brown teeth if you are smoke-less tobacco.
2) Tooth decay
Many chemicals in tobacco products can damage the enamel of teeth. When these chemicals attack the enamel that protects the teeth, the teeth are more susceptible to the erosion of food and beverages, harmful bacteria in the mouth, and continued use of tobacco products.
3) Gum disease
Gum disease-gingivitis and periodontitis is caused by bacteria forming a sticky, colourless film called plaque on your teeth, which then moves below the gum line. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and you may notice inflammation and bleeding in the gums.
If gingivitis worsens, the bacteria can affect the bones of the teeth. Dentists call it periodontitis. This can cause the teeth to shift, loosen or fall out. If the cavities are severe, the dentist may need to remove them.
4) Oral Cancer
Unfortunately, people who use tobacco products are not only at risk of lung cancer or heart disease but also at risk of oral cancer. Tobacco products can cause cancer of the lips, gums, mouth, tongue and cheeks. The treatment of oral cancer can cause permanent disfigurement.
3. How can dentists help users of tobacco products?
Quitting these addictive products is not easy. However, your dentist can provide tools for smoking and quitting. For example, some dentists will prescribe drugs such as Chantix or Zyban to help reduce food cravings. Users of tobacco products should visit a dental hygienist and dentist frequently. A dentist can remove plaque and tartar, as well as clean and polish your teeth. Cleaning your teeth immediately after you quit smoking can help motivate you to stay smoke-free.
The dentist can assess your overall oral health, check for any suspicious spots, and monitor for signs of gum disease. If your teeth are loose or fall out, your dentist can recommend dentures, dentures, and other cosmetic procedures to improve your smile.