Tobacco Vs. Teeth- How Smoking Affects Not Just Your Overall Health
It is no secret that tobacco usage harms ones overall health but have you really considered how it can harm your oral health? A number of health problems can arise due to smoking from discoloration of teeth, gum disease and even cancer in the mouth.
“Bad breath and gum disease increases with smokers,” says Philadelphia Dentist Dr. Ken Cirka, “You see a lot of staining on the tongue.”
90% of those with oral cancer have used some form of tobacco. “The most concerning issue is mouth cancer,” Dr. Cirka says. “What is so devastating with oral cancer is that the death rate of those who do get it is high — between 40 and 50 percent of all cases.”
Misconceptions of Tobacco
Dr. Cirka states, “Tobacco in any form has risks. The occasional smoker is taking risks.” Those who think that smoking only a few times out of the month and not becoming a “regular smoker” reduces the likelihood of developing dental health conditions are mistaken. You might be shocked that chewing tobacco, can increase your risk of oral cancer by 6 times!
Some Tips for Prevention
- Brush Thoroughly
Not only are the toxins found in tobacco bad for ones mouth but also the carcinogens found and heat from them can cause major damage. Flossing and brushing completely need to be a priority for smokers and it’s also recommended to have your hygienist double check during scheduled cleanings.
- Routine Dental Check Up
Just like all cancers, early detention/prevention can help lower ones risk. The more you keep up with your cleanings, the better your outcome will be regarding oral health. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Cirka checks for any abnormalities during each dental checkup.
- Stop Smoking
Of course the longer you continue to smoke, the greater you risk increases for oral cancer. After about 10 years, a reformed smokers oral hygiene can reflect that of a non smoker; so consider a smoking cessation program now for a lifetime of benefits.
Easier said than done right? It’s not likely that you can just quit tomorrow so most doctors advise to start small and work your way up to never smoking again. Tobacco use is addictive, so in the meantime, regular dental visits help with early detection of problems that may lead to oral cancer” Dr. Cirka states.
Visit your dentist regularly to receive all necessary data regarding smoking and your oral risks today!