Direct From The Dentist: Teeth and Tobacco Don’t Go Well Together

Anti-tobacco campaigns often focus on the overall effects of tobacco on the body, rather than just a person’s oral health. Yet, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious side effects on your oral health if you use tobacco.

Our dentist, Dr. Taylor, has treated many people at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry who were suffering from the side effects of using tobacco and wanted to make it clear exactly why teeth and tobacco don’t go well together.

Tobacco’s Effects On Your Oral Health

There are many ways which tobacco can affect your oral health. Some of these ways are restricted to how you intake the tobacco, but many of the effects are universal, no matter how the tobacco is delivered.

  • Teeth discoloration – One of the most visible effects of using tobacco is the yellow staining on the teeth of tobacco users. When the enamel becomes deeply stained, it can be incredibly difficult to lighten and likely will require a dentist to whiten the teeth again.
  • Debris lodged in teeth – An issue particular to chewing tobacco, you can have tobacco leaves lodged in between your gums and teeth as well as between your teeth. This can cause more openings for bacteria to attack your teeth.
  • Heightens oral cancer risk – There are a number of harmful chemicals in tobacco, with 28 carcinogens (cancer-associated agents) in chewing tobacco alone. When these agents are burned in cigars and cigarettes, they combine dangerously with the 250 chemicals harmful chemicals to make tobacco smoke. All this greatly increase the chance of developing different oral and throat cancers.
  • Recessed gums – The nicotine in tobacco constricts the blood vessels in the gums, causing gum lines to recede. This can leave the roots of the teeth dangerously exposed to bacteria, causing the death of the tooth.
  • Slow healing post-dental work – Another side effect of the constricted blood vessels is that it takes longer to heal after dental work is done, as the blood vessels are too restricted to allow for quicker healing.

Vaping Nicotine Isn’t Any Better For Your Teeth

Some people who vape e-cigarettes, and other vaping methods, seem to believe that since the tobacco isn’t being burnt, the majority of the side effects are no longer an issue. However, vapes which have nicotine still can damage your oral health.

  • Can hide gum disease – The nicotine in tobacco will still cause your gums to recede and restrict the blood flow in your gums. This can hide important signs of gum disease.
  • Dry mouth – Vapor from the e-cigarette (or other vaping methods) can draw the moisture out of your mouth. By having a dry mouth, you can be more vulnerable to tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath).
  • Teeth grinding – If you vape juice with nicotine, the muscles in your jaws will be stimulated by the nicotine, causing you to grind your teeth.

Vaping devices have not been around long enough to see the long-term effects of vaping, so Dr. Taylor recommends you avoid vaping as well as any other tobacco usage.

If you want help resolving any effects tobacco has had on your oral health, contact us for an appointment with Dr. Taylor. He can help repair the many oral side effects of tobacco usage.

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