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You could be smoking your teeth away
A one-pack-a-day smoking habit can cost you the loss of at least two teeth every 10 years.
Tobacco use is not just a bad habit, it is nicotine addiction, and is referred to as a chronic relapsing medical condition. Nicotine is a plant-derived drug that is thought to interact with the body in a manner similar to other abused substances such as cocaine. Nicotine dependence makes quitting difficult as withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and are relieved by nicotine itself, creating a self-sustaining cycle. The ill-effects of tobacco use on one’s health have been well-documented and are not limited to smoking—any tobacco product, including chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, snus etc, carries an increased risk of discolored teeth, increased cavities, delayed wound healing, gum disease, cancer of the mouth, throat, and lung, cardiovascular disease and death.
What is gum disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic disease affecting the tissues that support the teeth. Gingivitis is the mildest and only reversible form of this disease, characterized by puffy, reddish gums that bleed easily. If left untreated it can progress to periodontitis, a condition in which gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets that can become infected. Continued progression causes more loss of gum tissue, bone destruction and eventually tooth loss. Lost teeth can lead to dramatic lifestyle changes as it affects the ability to speak and chew, as well as one's appearance.
If you use any tobacco products, have mouth sores, notice blood on your toothbrush, saliva or food, if any of your teeth seem to have shifted position or become loose, or it has been more than two years since your last dental visit, you should see a dentist, even if you don’t feel any dental pain. Your dentist can help you quit using tobacco. If you do not have a dentist, Community Dental is currently accepting new patients at all centers, which are conveniently located throughout the state. Contact us today!