You’ve probably heard about the dangers of smoking, but have you considered the toll it can take on your oral health?
Smokers have a higher risk of developing gum disease (periodontal disease) than non-smokers. Even if you have perfect home care, nicotine discourages the attachment of tissue to teeth that healthy gums need.
Smokers and smokeless tobacco users have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Oral cancer survival rates are not high, usually because oral cancer is not diagnosed until it is late stage. Cancerous and non-cancerous oral lesions can look very similar in your mouth. If something is not healing after two weeks of leaving it alone, it needs to be checked by a professional.
Smoking can lead to cell abnormalities. If you have or are thinking of getting braces, expect to wear them longer than a non-smoker because smoking slows the tissue changes that allow braces to work.
Smoking can lead to loss of teeth. Nicotine causes bone to recede and bone is what anchors your teeth in your jaw.
The good news is that quitting greatly reduces your chances of developing the conditions listed above. If you are considering quitting, ask your dentist or physician for help and for the names of groups in the community that can offer you support.
*Note: This article is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is accepting new patients at her general dental office located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. Call 440-960-1940 to reserve your appointment time. You can also find Dr. Robb online at www.drjrobb.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb