The Surgeon General issued findings in the 1960’s advising the public of the hazards of smoking. At that time, the primary concerns were lung cancer and heart disease. But ongoing research has revealed the perils tobacco users face to their oral health. Your dentist, doctor, family, and friends all probably urge you to discontinue using tobacco; and saving your teeth is just one more reason.
Dental Health Dangers
Bad breath and discolored dentition are the obvious signs that you use tobacco. But what you can’t see is what is happening to your teeth and gums beneath the surface.
Gum disease is likely lurking; early symptoms include puffy, swollen, or red gum tissue. Your gums may bleed with or without provocation (if gum tissue bleeds when you brush or floss, you may be using the wrong tools and/or improper technique) … your family dental provider can assist you with helping teach you and your family proper brushing and flossing technique.
In its early stages, gingivitis is very treatable; but ongoing use of tobacco in any form will defeat your efforts. The bones and connective tissues that hold your teeth in place are being ravaged by the effects of tobacco. And as bone loss continues, teeth may feel loose … you may be on the verge of losing your ability to chew, speak properly, and smile with self confidence.
Oral cancer … these two words should be enough to convince anyone to give up tobacco.
It’s Never Too Late To Quit Tobacco
While damage may have occurred, quitting is the first step to restoring your dental health. Before tooth loss occurs, there are treatment options available that may help you retain them.
Your dentist may recommend root planing and scaling to remove calculus that has formed beneath the gum line. However, if you continue to use tobacco, these attempts to save your teeth may add some time, but will not be sufficient to prevent recurring problems.
Gum surgery is a more extensive procedure designed to help treat periodontitis, but tobacco users (both smokers and smokeless tobacco users) will have to deal with what tobacco does to their body’s inability to heal.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our team at Howl Dental today.