Tobacco and its effects on oral health

One of the key factors contributing to avoidable disease is tobacco smoking. Even smokeless tobacco raises the possibility of oral health problems.

Here are some ways tobacco use can affect your oral health:

Reduced sense of taste and smell

Tobacco use can reduce the ability to taste and smell, making it difficult to enjoy food and beverages.

Teeth staining

Teeth staining occurs when the nicotine and tar found in tobacco accumulate on the tooth’s surface, causing yellow or brown discoloration. A dry mouth caused due to the usage of tobacco products can also contribute to the staining of the teeth. Another main reason that can leave teeth more vulnerable to discolouration is the decrease in saliva production due to nicotine.

Bad breath

Tobacco use can cause chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis. It happens due to dry mouth, leading to bacteria build-up in the mouth. The chemicals in tobacco products can also result in a lingering odor in the mouth, contributing to bad breath. 

Gum disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is another consequence of tobacco smoking. The chemicals in tobacco products reduce blood flow to the gums, impairing the body’s ability to fight infections. It can also delay the healing process following gum disease treatment. Severe gum diseases can even result in tooth loss. 

Delayed healing

Tobacco use can slow healing following oral surgery or other dental procedures. It occurs due to the reduced flow of oxygen and other nutrients to the tissues through proper blood circulation. 

Oral cancer

Oral cancer is considered one of the severe aftereffects of tobacco usage, and it mainly affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. The harmful chemicals released while chewing or smoking tobacco cause cancerous cells to develop in the mouth and throat. These cancerous cells can then form tumors and spread to other body parts. Hence tobacco can affect the overall health of a person. 

Tooth loss

Tooth loss due to tobacco can occur in many ways. It can be either due to periodontal disease damaging the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, the reduced inability of the body to fight against infections, bad breath, and dry mouth leading to tooth decay and gum disease, or untreated oral cancer spreading to the bones in the mouth or jaw.  

Quitting tobacco is crucial to improve your oral and overall health. This way, you can reduce the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental-related health problems. If you have a habit of using tobacco or you think you have dental issues due to smoking, our expert dental specialists at Go Dental clinic will help you with proper guidance and treatment. Call us at +971 4 397 9522 and book your appointment with our dental experts.

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