While most of us understand the effects that tobacco has on our general health, have you considered the consequences that it poses for your oral health? Smokers are more likely to develop periodontal disease and lose their teeth, while smokeless or chewing tobacco users have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Understanding the risks of using tobacco may help in your decision to quit. Here your general dentist in Bangor will discuss the effects of tobacco and oral health.
Periodontal Disease and Oral Cancer
Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing periodontal, or gum disease. Did you know that around 50% of smoking adults currently suffer from gum disease? Smoking decreases the ability of your immune system to effectively fight off disease, which makes gum disease more prevalent. It also causes gum recession to progress more rapidly, which allows the bacteria that causes gum disease to progress below the gum line quicker more easily.
Chewing tobacco makes your risk of developing cancer of the cheeks, lips and gum tissue 50% more likely. It also inhibits treatment of oral cancer and periodontal disease. Your dentist will screen for oral cancer at your bi-annual cleaning and check up appointments, as this disease is treated much more effectively in its early stages.
How Can I Quit Tobacco Use?
There are a number of effective products on the market that can assist you in quitting smoking or using tobacco, however it's important to understand that this habit is an addiction, and it will take time and effort on your part to kick the habit. Creating a support system of friends and family who will help guide you through the process is crucial for your success. Your dental provider is also a good resource for ideas on how to quit using tobacco. Talk with your dentist so they can also become your partner in quitting.
At Maine Family Dental Practice, our doctors are caring and they understand how difficult it can be to quit smoking. Our goal is to be your partners in excellent oral health, and we've helped many patients through the process of kicking their tobacco addictions.Your oral health is linked with your overall health, and imagine how much better you'll feel when tobacco no longer rules your life? Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you.