North Tampa Dentistry
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Long Term Effects of Chewing Tobacco and Smoking

August 28, 2021
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Posted By: North Tampa Dentistry
man smoking

Most people know that tobacco use can damage your general health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that using tobacco products causes oral cancer, gum disease, and other oral health problems. 

Your Oral Health Is Our Priority 

At North Tampa Dentistry, we want the best for your oral health. Our team is kind and non-judgmental, and Dr. Roberto Bellegarrigue, also known as Dr. Belle, can help you reduce the risk of developing oral diseases. If you smoke or use tobacco, we encourage you to visit your dentist regularly to make sure your mouth is healthy and cancer-free. 

Common Health Consequences of Tobacco Use

Using tobacco has many harmful consequences on a person’s oral health and their smile’s appearance: 

Teeth Discoloration

Like our skin, our teeth have tiny pores that absorb harmful substances, like the tar and nicotine found in tobacco. These substances discolor teeth, making them look yellow or brown. 

Bad Breath 

The smell of tobacco can linger in the mouth even hours after use, resulting in a disagreeable odor. Tobacco also dries out the mouth, and studies have found a direct link between tobacco and halitosis (bad breath). 

Cavities 

Using tobacco products increases your risk of tooth decay. According to the CDC, those who use smokeless tobacco are at a high risk of developing cavities at the gumline. 

Gum Disease

Tobacco use can irritate the gums, leaving them inflamed and vulnerable to infection. Gum recession can also occur, leaving the roots and surfaces of the teeth exposed and sensitive to touch and temperature. Constant gum irritation can eventually lead to gum disease. 

Oral Cancer 

Tobacco contains cancer-causing chemicals that can affect the lips, throat, tongue, cheeks, throat and other soft tissues in the mouth. Johns Hopkins Medicine says that smokers are 10 times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers.  

Pipe smokers are at a higher rate for lip cancer, and cigar smokers are four to 10 times more likely to develop life-threatening oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and laryngeal cancer. 

Preventive Dental Care Is Key 

Preventive dentistry helps reduce the risk of tooth loss, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health concerns related to tobacco use. 

Dr. Belle performs routine oral cancer screenings to look for any irregularities in the mouth. Oral cancer can sometimes appear as a visible growth and may even look white. However, only a medical doctor can accurately diagnose oral cancer by performing a thorough examination and taking a biopsy to test the tissue. 

Dr. Belle and our team also thoroughly clean all the nooks and crannies of your mouth to remove bacteria and plaque. We also offer teeth whitening treatments to remove tobacco stains, and we are always happy to provide resources for those interested in putting an end to their tobacco use. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our Tampa dental office. 

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