Falls Church Dentist Shares Ways to Protect Your Oral Health from Tobacco
Poor brushing and flossing habits are not the only things that contribute to poor oral health. Using tobacco products can have a very serious effect on the health of your mouth. They can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and interfere with the normal functioning of the body’s tissue cells making you more likely to have an oral infection. Not only that, tobacco products are produced with at least 28 chemicals that increase the risk of oral and throat cancer.
Cigarettes, Cigars and Pipes
Smoking can increase the likelihood of tooth loss because it can create bone loss within the jawbone, which anchors the teeth into the mouth. This is an issue that many smokers battle.
Smokeless tobacco products are just as bad for your oral health as cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Chewing tobacco can irritate your gums and lead to your gums receding. Once the gums recede, your roots can become exposed, leading to tooth decay and increased tooth sensitivity.
Chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes; one can of snuff is equal to over 60 cigarettes. Now that is a lot of cigarettes.
Signs of Gum Disease
If you use tobacco products and are worried that you may suffer from gum disease, below are some symptoms that you should look for:
• Sensitive teeth
• Loose teeth
• Painful chewing
• Red gums
• Tender or bleeding gums
• Swollen gums
• Receding gums
Treating Gum Disease
If you are diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist may administer the following treatments:
• A prescription mouth rinse
• A deep cleaning below the gum line
• Surgery to remove tartar
• Surgery to heal bone and/or gum loss
Preventing a Decline in Oral Health
If you are a current user of tobacco products there are some things that you can do now to prevent any further damage to your mouth, teeth, and gums:
• Stop smoking and the use of tobacco products
• Brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal
• Floss daily
• Use a mouth rinse as needed
• Schedule regular checkups with your Falls Church dentist
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, remember to ask your dentist during your next visit.