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How Tobacco Damages Your Gums

Posted on 4/15/2019 by Dr. Karl Zeren
How Tobacco Damages Your GumsPeople who use tobacco know that it's bad for them, they know and generally speaking, they don't need someone else to remind them that it's unhealthy.

The consequences of smoking are generally unseen, and this can make it a little easier to ignore, but there are some side effects to your oral health that, if you use tobacco, you should be aware of.

Tobacco and Your Oral Health

Smoking not only damages your lungs, it compromises your entire immune system. This includes your oral health. Smoking makes you more susceptible to gum disease and infection, and if the infection in your gums spreads to the pulp inside of your teeth, this can result in the need for root canals to repair the damage. If left untreated, the infection will result in tooth loss.

As a society, we seem to have generally accepted that smoking and chewing tobacco greatly increases your risks for developing cancer, but both also increases your risk for developing oral cancer. When the smoke and chewing tobacco come in contact with your cheeks, lips and gums, they can cause cancerous tumors to grow in these areas and this greatly increases the likelihood of tooth loss.

Smoking and chewing tobacco also interferes with your mouth's ability to produce saliva effectively. The decreased saliva flow means an increase in plaque and tartar on the teeth, which leads to receding gums and gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused by the exact same bacteria that cause decay and if left untreated, not only can infection spread from the tissue to the bone, but it can result in bone loss and tooth loss.

If you are a regular user of tobacco and you're ready to kick the habit, give our office a call and we'll be happy to help you. Chat with us at your next checkup about giving up tobacco for good and improving your oral health.

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