It’s no secret that smoking or using chewing tobacco has serious health consequences. It is, after all, clearly printed directly on the label for everyone to see. Tobacco use has especially negative implications for your oral health, not to mention that tobacco and cigarettes also leave dark stains on the teeth that negatively impact the appearance of your teeth.
Dry Mouth and its Consequences
Tobacco use reduces saliva production, causing uncomfortable dry mouth. Dry mouth is more than an annoyance; it contributes to both periodontal disease and decay. You can combat dry mouth by sipping water throughout the day and rinsing with a mouthwash developed for people who have dry mouth.
Longer Healing Times
Recent research shows that smokers’ mouths heal more slowly after an extraction or implant placement. Smoking after periodontal surgery slows healing, and sometimes negatively impacts, the success of gum grafting procedures.
Increased Oral Cancer Risk
Tobacco use of any kind increases the risk of developing oral cancer. The risk is further increased when combined with alcohol consumption. When detected early, people with oral cancer have a better chance of survival and less invasive treatment options.
Your dentist plays an important role in the detection of early signs of oral cancer. This is part of our comprehensive preventive approach to dentistry. Your dentist here in our Forest Grove office will examine your tissue for any suspicious lesions and recommend a biopsy if something concerning appears.
Need Help Quitting?
Your dentist is your health ally and will provide resources to make giving up smoking easier. Plenty of support makes the process easier, and it is always nice to plan for a reward once you reach a smoke-free milestone. Perhaps teeth whitening to spruce up your healthier smile will help you keep the momentum going. Give us a call if you would like to discuss strategies to achieve your oral health goals.