There is no denying that tobacco smoke can cause a lot of health issues, not to mention that it poses grave health risk not only to you but to those around you. Did you also know that tobacco use also has consequences towards your oral health?
While every smoker is aware that tobacco smoke can cause serious health issues overall, it can also affect one’s oral health, which may eventually lead to discolored teeth or sometimes, cancer. Most smokers would notice teeth and tongue discolorations. And if not stopped, tobacco smoke can lead to more serious complications, such as oral cancer or gum diseases.
Correlation of Smoking and Oral Cancer
Dr. Thomas Kilgor, DMD, an associate dean and professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, mentioned that one of the most serious complications of smoking is mouth cancer. Although he indicated that smoking will not automatically give you cancer, there is no assurance that you won’t acquire it eventually.
Studies reveal that approximately 40 – 50% of people who smoke get oral cancer. This is a huge percentage, and these numbers haven’t changed over the past few years. In fact, the American Cancer Society revealed that around 90% of people who’ve had oral cancer, have consumed tobacco one way or another. Again, this is an alarming number, and people who smoke are 6 times at higher risk as compared to those who don’t consume tobacco. In general, your risk of getting oral cancer increases the longer that you smoke.
It’s simple – the longer you smoke, and the more tobacco cigarettes you light, your odds of getting oral cancer continues to increase. If you have been smoking for years and haven’t seen any signs of oral issues or cancer, perhaps this is the perfect time to stop the bad habit and start living healthy.
Gum Diseases Due to Smoking
Contrary to popular belief, smoking doesn’t cause tooth decay. As a matter of fact, smoking may cause periodontal diseases, or also referred to as gum diseases. It all begins with gum inflammation and once your gums, become inflamed, your teeth’s roots will get inflamed as well, which will cause your teeth to deteriorate and fall off.
It is not a pretty sight and it’s painful, too. There was a study that showed that half of people who smoke experience periodontal diseases. While there are both surgical and non-surgical procedures to slow down or treat gum problems, it doesn’t mean that these treatments should be taken for granted. Some people would just continue smoking knowing that there’s something that they can do to treat the condition. While it is true that one can always slow down the degenerative process or even completely reverse the process, it doesn’t mean that you won’t experience it again.
Gum diseases, as simple as they may sound, can also cause serious problems. As mentioned earlier, it may cause tooth (most of the time teeth) loss, or worse, it may lead to jawbone damage.
No Tobacco is Lesser Evil than Others
What tobacco is safer? Frankly, none. There is no tobacco that is better than the others, and switching to milder forms of tobacco won’t make an enormous difference. There is a common misconception from most people saying that there are better tobacco brands than others – whether you smoke or chew tobacco, it doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s still harmful and there is no better way to avoid these health risks than to stop smoking.
Oral Health: How To Be Protected
Protecting your oral health can be achieved by quitting smoking, brushing regularly, and getting regular dental checkups. For your oral needs, it’s best that you immediately see your dentist to prevent these problems. Happy Teeth, the leading dental service provider in Sydney, believes that for you to have a healthy body, it all begins with a happy teeth. Contact them now and set your appointment – do the first step towards achieving a healthy body.