Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, chaw, and pipe tobacco. Studies show that 80% of smokers start before their 18th birthday. Unfortunately, tobacco products can have many negative effects on your teeth and mouth that may make you spend more on your overall dental care than a non-smoker/non-tobacco-user.
Some of the obvious effects you may notice are stained teeth and bad breath. But your dentist often sees other problems.
Smoking decreases blood supply to your mouth and slows healing. Because of this you’re more likely to develop gum disease (periodontal disease). Smoking can also mask the signs of gum disease and make it harder to treat if you do have it.
Chemicals in the tobacco products also increase your risk of developing mouth cancer and other cancers. One example of this that you can see is the tissue changes in your mouth in the area where chewing tobacco is held. (Though not all changes are cancerous, most will become cancer if the habit continues.)
Studies show that smokers spend more on dental care. Wouldn’t you rather have the money from both buying the products and your dental care in your own wallet? Talk to your physician or dentist today about a smoking cessation program.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist with an office located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. 440-960-1940. If you’re not a current patient, we invite you to call and become one!