The Effects of Tobacco Use on Your Oral Health

Ann Arbor Dentist

Tobacco use does not only increase lung cancer, it also causes many diseases like oral cancer and periodontal disease. Among adults, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Tobacco use includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes (including hookah) and chewing tobacco. Dentists know firsthand that no matter what form of tobacco you use, it negatively affects your mouth.

If quitting is out of the question for you, visiting your dentist regularly will help immensely in maintaining your teeth and preventing further problems. However, the best thing to do for those who want a healthy mouth is to stop using tobacco.

The Risks

Using tobacco increases the amount of your mouth’s calculus — a hard material more commonly known as tarter — that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing. Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups is the only way to remove calculus. Dentists have to use ultrasonic tools and specialized sharp instruments to clean off excess calculus.

Aside from staining your teeth, calculus also contains bacteria that infects your gums and destroys the attachment fibers ofyour teeth. Left unattended, bacteria will shrink bone and gum until your teeth loosen and fall out.

Continued tobacco use hides the symptoms commonly associated with periodontal diseases, making it significantly harder to detect and treat. Tobacco use decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients sent to your gum and bones, which is what thwarts the healing process.

Tobacco use also causes bad breath, cancer, loss of smell and taste, a hairy black tongue and mouth sores and spots.

If you quit today, you’re one step closer to a healthy mouth. Either way, regularly visit your dentist for professional cleaning and advice on how to best take care of your teeth.

To learn more about our Ann Arbor dentists and the services we offer, please contact us here or call us at (734) 201-1610. Our dental professionals strive to be the very best at providing patients with optimal care while making them feel right at home here in Ann Arbor, MI.