You may remember the “say no to drugs” rallies that took place at school. During these rallies, organizations would arrange for speakers to come and talk about the harmful impact of tobacco and recreational drugs. You probably walked away remembering how smoking could cause lung cancer, but they never really discussed what effects tobacco has on your oral health.
There is plenty of research that supports the negative effects that smoking has on your teeth, gums, and the long-term effects it has as a result. With vaping becoming a nationwide epidemic for youth and adults alike you need to be aware of how smoking impacts your mouth regardless if you have a healthy oral routine or not.
How Does Smoking Impact Your Mouth
Aside from the illness and cancers that long-term use of tobacco causes, there are several oral issues a heavy smoker has a higher chance of developing. These include mouth cancer, root rot, complications after tooth removal,l excess dental procedures, discoloration of teeth, gum disease, and halitosis. You should be aware of any changes that take place in your mouth as you perform your daily oral routine. Some symptoms to look out for are spots on your gums, inflammation of the gums, bleeding or loosening of gums, and loose teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms and they persist beyond a week contact us today for further diagnosis and treatment.
Oral cancer is among the more serious issues that a heavy smoker is at risk for. 90% of oral cancer victims are tobacco users so it is certainly not something that should be taken lightly. Symptoms include having an internal oral ulcer, swelling in the mouth, and red or white patches throughout the mouth. Scheduling regular dental checkups is essential in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer.
Preventative Actions You Can Take Today
One of the best actions you can take is quitting smoking. We are aware that this is something that is easier said than done. There are plenty of resources and assistance that is available to you if you make the decision to quit. Quitting smoking puts your likelihood to develop oral cancer at the same likelihood as a non-smoker. If you are interested in exploring the option of quitting a great place to start is thetruth.com.
Here are a few preventative actions you can take to minimize the negative effects of tobacco:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss at least once a day
- Limit alcohol intake
- Reduce the occurrence of smoking
- Avoid dry mouth by increasing your intake of water
We Are Here For You at Enhance Dental
Though your first line of defense is what you do at home, scheduling regular dental check-ups are essential in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer. Schedule an appointment at Enhance Dental today to begin your journey to making your oral health a priority.