Smoking and the use of all tobacco products poses significant risks to your health. Breathing problems and lung cancer are widely known to be direct results from smoking, and there are two other serious concerns that you may not be as aware of. Understanding how devastating smoking can be on your overall and oral health can help to encourage you or a loved one to finally call it quits with tobacco.
Periodontal disease and oral cancer may not receive as much attention as lung cancer and breathing problems (e.g. COPD), but both of these have the ability to destroy your oral health and compromise the health of your entire body. The mouth is made up of living tissues that have direct links to your blood supply. Any type of infection or disease that occurs inside the mouth can easily pass through the blood stream and affect the rest of the body. This is what makes periodontal disease so dangerous.
Periodontal disease is the severe infection of the gum tissues that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease in its earliest form is known as gingivitis, which appears as red, swollen, and tender gums. Gingivitis is relatively common and easily treatable with intervention. However, the serious aspect of periodontal disease is that it is an irreversible condition. Periodontal disease is gum disease that is so severe that the teeth will be lost if extensive dental treatment is not provided. Smoking causes the gum tissues to become irritate and easily susceptible to infection, making the likelihood that they will suffer from periodontal disease incredibly high.
Smoking and the use of tobacco products causes another negative reaction to occur within the body. Tobacco use limits the body’s immunity so that it cannot fight off diseases. With a weakened immune system, people are much more susceptible to developing oral cancer. Smoking and tobacco use reduces the number of antibodies inside the mouth that should be fighting off toxins. Instead, the mouth is left defenseless in a vulnerable state.
At Heritage Dental, our practice is committed to the oral health of our patients. If you are a tobacco user of any sort, or of any frequency, we encourage you to break the habit today. We understand that this may be difficult, but we also understand the dire effects that tobacco poses to your health. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment for a consultation regarding how to overcome the damage tobacco has caused.