Posts for category: TOBACCO
You have probably counted a hundred reasons to stop smoking. It's unhealthy. It's expensive. It annoys the people around you. You have to schedule your day around your next cigarette. But here's reason number 101: Did you know that one of the many side effects of smoking is the damage it does to your smile?
YOUR APPEARANCE is one of the most obvious things affected by smoking, which results in constant yellowing and discoloration of your teeth. Tobacco stains can take longer to remove with home brushing and whitening. More importantly, no smile looks its best with periodontal disease and tooth loss. Smoking has been linked to the presence of more harmful oral bacteria and higher occurences of cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is higher among smokers and commonly results in tooth loss.
YOUR HEALING rate slows considerably among smokers. Smoking has been linked to a weaker immune system, so it's harder to fight off an infection or to heal from one. And due to the harmful effects of smoking on bone tissue, there is an increased failure rate for dental implants among tobacco users.
ORAL CANCER is the single most serious risk factor that has been associated with tobbaco use. The good news is that this risk is cut dramatically if you quit!
Use of electronic cigarettes (EC) has been increasing rapidly during the past several years, but little information is available regarding the association between EC use and oral health. A recent study was conducted to assess the relationship between EC use and self-reported oral symptoms among adolescents. Take a look at the findings:
- Increased gingival pain, bleeding, or both
- Increased tongue pain, inside cheek pain, or both
- Increased a cracked or broken tooth
The authors have concluded that EC use among adolescents appear to the rsk factors for tongue pain, inside-cheek pain, or cracked or both teeth. This recent study may be the first indication that EC use is not without concern.
Many smokers believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply is not the case! In fact, smokeless tobacco can cause serious health concerns.
Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and goes by many names: dip, snuff, or simply chewing tobacco. Use of these products usually involves sucking or chewing on shredded or loose tobacco leaves, sometimes flavored, for a prolonged period. There are even products that emulate a dissolvable candy-like consistency which are made of compressed powder.
SMOKELESS TOBACCO RISKS
Whichever form a tobacco takes, the dangers of using or consuming them is very real. According to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are upwards of 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco that are known to cause cancer. And these products are habit-forming just like any other tobacco product that contains nicotine. Using them will increase your risk for many serious diseases including but not limited to: cancer (especially oral and esophageal), gum and heart disease, cavities, and pre-cancerous mouth lesions.
At the end of the day, long-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause serious health issues. These products really take a toll on both your oral and overall health. They put a strain on your immune system and make it less capable of warding off infection and disease.
There are many resources that are available today for those that desire to quit. The National Cancer Institute offers information, support (local and online), and tools to help smokers and smokeless tobacco users. They offer live online chat with cessation counselors Monday through Friday and even have a smartphone app available to help people who are serious about quitting. Taking a look at the website smoker.gov or calling the toll-free line at 1-877-44U-QUIT for additional tools can provide further assistance in your pursuit of breaking the hold of tobacco.