Everyone knows by now that smoking is bad for your health and can lead to conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease. The impact of tobacco use on oral health goes beyond just the main health problems we hear about every day. Tobacco contains a number of chemicals and carcinogens that create a perfect storm for certain oral health conditions.
Tobacco Increases Oral Cancer Risk
Oral cancer is a particularly deadly form of cancer and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase that risk, especially when combined with alcohol use. Dr. Ruggless and our team perform regular oral cancer screenings at your periodic exams to rule out any suspicious lesions. Your dentist is often the first person to notice suspicious lesions since an oral cancer screening is not something that primary care physicians usually perform. Early detection dramatically increases your prognosis.
If we see a suspicious lesion, we will refer you immediately for a biopsy, so you can take action quickly.
Tobacco Causes Stained Teeth
If you like a nice, bright smile, quitting tobacco is a great idea. Nothing stains white teeth faster than smoking or chewing tobacco. The tar that is released from tobacco leaves dark deposits on teeth, especially on the inside of teeth, near the tongue.
You can opt for teeth whitening to brighten your smile, but they will quickly become stained again once tobacco use resumes and you will need frequent touch-up treatments to keep your teeth looking white.
Tobacco Causes Dry Mouth
Using any form of tobacco can reduce the amount of saliva that your mouth produces. Saliva is essential for healthy teeth, gums, and for comfort. A dry mouth is also more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss without regular attention.
Dentist in Springfield, IL
If you want a dentist in Springfield who will support you in giving up tobacco for good, give us a call. Our knowledgeable team can help you take the first steps toward better health and wellness.