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The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine on Your Dental Health

dentist north DallasMany people understand that tobacco and nicotine present general health concerns but tend to be unaware of the impact tobacco and nicotine use has on dental health. It’s important for nicotine users to keep routine checkups with their dentist so that potential issues can be caught as early as possible. Following is helpful information on the impact of nicotine use and your oral health.

Gum Disease

Tobacco use irritates the gingiva and affects the gums on a cellular level. When the gums are irritated, they are more susceptible to infection and periodontal disease. The smoke from cigars and tobacco can also separate soft oral tissue from your teeth. Smokeless tobacco is harmful to your gums, too. Using smokeless varieties irritates the gingiva and causes gum recession, which leaves the roots of teeth vulnerable to surface debris and bacteria. Gum disease is a serious threat to your oral health because it destroys bone and teeth. It is imperative to receive treatment for gum disease in its earliest stages as it becomes incurable in its more advanced forms.

Tooth Decay

Using nicotine and tobacco increases your risk for cavities. Smoking contributes to increased levels of tartar and plaque buildup, which weakens the protective coating of teeth. Gum recession associated with tobacco use will also expose the roots of teeth to cavity-causing bacteria. A tooth’s root is far more vulnerable than its crown because it does not have an enamel coating.

Bone Loss

Our jawbones are the foundation of our oral health system. When tobacco/nicotine use result in bone loss, it can affect the stability of our teeth. Bone loss can lead to reduced oral function as well as an aged appearance.

Slower Healing

Using any kind of nicotine could affect your ability to heal from an infection and slow down your recovery after a dental procedure such as tooth extractions, gum surgery, and dental implant placement.

Oral Cancer

Tobacco use greatly increases your risk for developing oral cancer. This form of cancer can develop anywhere inside the mouth. Oral cancer can be curable when it’s caught and treated in its earliest stages. For more information or to schedule a checkup with our dentist, call Bliss Dental today.