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The effects of nicotine and tobacco on your dental health

Nicotine and tobacco have a number of negative effects on the body that have been well-documented. For example, smokers have an increased likelihood of developing conditions like lung cancer and heart disease.

Did you know that nicotine and tobacco also have an impact on your oral health? Just as tobacco contributes to cancer elsewhere in the body, it can lead to oral cancer as well. In fact, chewing tobacco users face a much higher risk of developing cancers of the mouth than non-users do.

Tobacco users are more likely to develop a variety of oral diseases than their peers who abstain. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to have advanced gum disease.

Researchers also have linked tobacco use to increased rates of tooth decay and loss, as well as alveolar bone loss. The findings applied regardless of smoking method–pipe, cigar or cigarettes.

Nicotine also stains the teeth. While the color of your teeth is not necessarily a major health concern, having an attractive smile is important to your confidence and self-esteem. It leads to bad breath, another unattractive trait, as well.

So, smokers who are concerned about their oral health, as well as their overall health, have extra motivation to quit, and leaders in dentistry are well aware of the importance in reducing tobacco use among patients.

Because smoking has such an impact on oral health, dentists are eager to offer guidance to their patients who are trying to quit. If you’re a smoker, talk to your skilled My Dentist in Plano team about smoking cessation.

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