You know that smoking and chewing tobacco is bad for your body. It leads to all kinds of health problems. But did you know tobacco use also hurts your teeth and gums? The more you use tobacco, the worse your smile will get.
That’s why you need to call our Hellertown, PA dental office today at 484-858-0949 and make a new appointment for a dental exam. Our Hellertown dentists are trained to find signs of oral cancer and other problems caused by tobacco, and as usual, early detection is the key to keeping things under control.
Tobacco Is More Than An Oral Cancer Problem
Oral cancer is the worst dental problem you can get from using tobacco. But there are many others that you need to be aware of.
– Cigars and chew contain grit that can damage your enamel
Tobacco grows in sandy soil. Cigarettes are very processed, and this removes any sand or grit that sticks to the tobacco leaves. But with chewing tobacco and cigars, that grit is usually still in there. Grit gets on your teeth and scrapes up the enamel, leaving you with weaker teeth.
– Recovering from cut gums or oral surgery will take longer
Nicotine and smoke interfere with your immune system. This means your body won’t be able to heal itself like it should. If you manage to cut your gums (either through an injury or because you have the early signs of gum disease), those cuts stay open longer. That lets bacteria get into your gum tissues and infect them.
Oral surgery is sometimes the best way to keep your smile healthy. For example, a severely damaged tooth might need to be removed because there’s no other way to relieve the pain. In these cases, tobacco use makes you heal from oral surgery more slowly as well.
– Your gums get irritated and can get infected
Using any kind of tobacco product (yes, even vaping) is rough on your gums. They are not designed to deal with irritants in smoke, vapor, and chew. That’s why people who use tobacco often have irritated gums.
When they get that bad, you start to develop gum disease. These gums can even get infected. This can lead to lost teeth and even inflammation problems in other parts of your body.
– You have less saliva to wash away food particles
Whenever you eat, tiny particles of food get trapped in your mouth. Harmful bacteria behind cavities and gum disease eat these and multiply. Saliva helps wash away these particles to keep those bacteria in check. Unfortunately, tobacco interferes with your mouth’s ability to make saliva. That means you end up with a higher risk of both cavities and gum disease.
– Your teeth become stained and darker
Your teeth might look smooth, but they actually have many tiny craters and grooves in the enamel. So when you smoke, vape, or chew, you end up trapping small amounts in those imperfections. Over time, these add up to turn your normally white smile into one that’s dark and brown. Teeth whitening can help, but those stains will just come back if you keep using tobacco.
How You Can Help Your Smile
Brush & Floss Your Teeth As You Should
Using tobacco is hard on your teeth. It also increases your risk of getting cavities and gum disease. That’s why you need to make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth. Be sure to brush them twice each day and floss every night before bed.
Quit Smoking (Or At Least Cut Down)
This might seem obvious, but it can be difficult to find the motivation to quit. After all, tobacco is addictive. But you need to try some way to quit. At the very least, you need to cut down how many times you use tobacco for the health of your entire body, including your smile.
Visit Our Hellertown, PA Dental Office Every Six Months
As with brushing and flossing, you need regular visits to our Hellertown dentists. Our team can professionally clean your smile, helping keep it as healthy as possible. Since tobacco causes so many problems, you need regular dental exams to make sure you catch those problems early.
Call us TODAY at 484-858-0949 or contact us online to schedule your next appointment with our Hellertown dentists. Dr. Hunsicker-Morrissey and Dr. Garubba both have the right mix of training and experience to help your smile.