With so many risks involved in patients who smoke, there has been no better time than the present to quit. Not only does tobacco use contribute to lung cancer, heart disease, and a host of other issues, but it can also cause a variety of oral problems as well. Let’s take a closer look a few things that cigarettes can do to your mouth.
The leading cause of oral cancer is tobacco use. Because cigarettes are a carcinogen, they weaken the DNA cells in the mouth, which can lead to a host of different types of cancer, including cheek cancer, tongue cancer, and throat cancer. During your regular dental cleanings, we will look at your mouth for signs of cancer like:
- Sores that won’t heal
- Lumps in the throat
- White spots on the cheeks or gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Cavities and cigarettes are practically BFF’s. Nicotine increases the production of biofilm along the gumline, which is one of the most common causes of cavities. Studies indicate that tobacco users are 4 times at risk of getting a cavity at the root of the tooth than non-users. Although frequent brushing can keep cavities away, the build-up of biofilm isn’t always natural to combat.
Having a clean, white, healthy smile isn’t something that many tobacco users have. Nicotine users are more likely to have yellowed or discolored teeth than those we don’t use. Even if you whiten your teeth regularly, they are more prone to staining caused by cigarettes.
If you want to kiss someone without making them cringe, then quit smoking. Smoking itself doesn’t just smell bad, but it also increases your chances of getting bad breath; no matter how much gum you chew.
We encourage all of our patients that smoke to quit as soon as possible because it can have long-lasting effects on their physical and oral health. If you want to learn more about your oral health, contact our Phoenix office and call 602.957.9643