Like You Needed Another Reason to Stop Smoking…

Smoking and oral healthNobody is perfect; we all have our tics and bad habits. Some of these habits are more detrimental to our health than others. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are perfect examples of bad habits that can practically destroy your teeth and gums. As we near the holiday season, a time for giving thanks and celebrations, we encourage you to consider kicking your tobacco habit for yourself and your family—no need to wait for the New Year.

Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

Smoking cigars, pipes, or cigarettes introduces harmful substances to the oral environment, where they irritate and inflame the tissues of your gums, tongue, and cheeks. This makes smokers more susceptible to developing periodontal disease, a serious infection of the gums that ultimately causes teeth to become loose and fall out. Not a good look. Gum disease has also been linked to everything from cardiovascular disease to diabetes.

Oral Cancer Is Deadly

Tobacco products of any kind increase your risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer, including cancer of the tongue, lips, and cheek—all this on top of the increased risk for lung cancer. What not everyone realizes is that oral cancer is one of the deadlier types of cancers; its death rate exceeds that of more commonly known types of cancer, specifically cancer of the cervix, skin, and testicles. This also explains why it is so important to visit your dentist for an exam every six months. Oral cancer screening and early detection are your best bets for surviving the disease; just over half of people diagnosed will live an additional five years.

It’s Downright Ugly

Yellow and brown teeth are one of the more unattractive effects of tobacco use. Because the tar and other chemicals cling stubbornly to teeth, many smokers find that not even professional teeth whitening is adequate to erase these tell-tale signs of tobacco use. Instead, pricier treatments such as dental crowns, cosmetic bonding, and porcelain veneers may be needed to achieve the desired level of whitening.

About Your Shrewsbury General Dentists

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-8838 today.