May 8, 2017
It’s a well-known fact that if you use tobacco products you’re increasing your risk of developing cancer—but there are many more equally terrifying consequences. Adult smokers are about three times as likely as non-smokers to have periodontitis. Research has shown that if all people stopped smoking today, periodontitis in the population would decrease as much as 50%. That’s why your Edison dentist wants to exemplify the importance of quitting tobacco products of any kind to improve your health. Let’s explore different types of tobacco and how they can drag down your well-being.
Did you know that more than 7,000 chemicals can be found in cigarette smoke—250 of them being outright dangerous to your body. This research just goes to show that that tobacco smoking lowers your body’s ability to stay healthy, making it harder for your body to fight off communicable diseases such as colds. In addition, smokers do not heal as well as non-smokers, which makes recovery after surgery much more difficult.
Chewing Tobacco, also called smokeless or spit tobacco, is directly linked to oral and throat cancers. When you choose to “chew,” you’re knowingly exposing the portal to the rest of your body to cancerous substances. The risk of oral cancer in people who chew tobacco is 4 to 6 times higher than non-users. Not only does it contain harmful chemicals, but there are abrasive materials as well as prominent levels of sugar which will lead to tooth decay.
Cigars and Pipes
Cigar smoke contains the same cancer-causing compounds found in cigarette smoke. Sometimes cigars can even be stronger and have higher amounts because they’re much larger than cigarettes. Research shows that cigar smokers are up to 22 times more likely to develop oral and throat cancers than non-smokers.
A hookah is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, bowl, pipe, and hose. A special blend of tobacco, sweetener, and flavor is heated. Consumers smoke the mixture and pull the smoke through a long hose that “filters” the smoke through water. There is a misconception that hookah smoke is a healthier option than smoking cigarettes. In reality, hookah smoke is just as dangerous as cigarette smoke—if not more. Smoking hookah for one hour typically entails about 200 puffs, while a cigarette is on average 20 puffs. The volume of smoke you’re inhaling is actually far higher than cigarettes. Tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, nicotine and other cancer-causing carcinogens are all present in hookah smoke.
You’re risking your smile
These are the oral health risks you face when you are using tobacco:
- Tooth loss
- Loss of sense of smell and taste
- Oral cancer
- Gum recession
- Gum disease
- Mouth sores
- Loss of bone in the jaw
- Bad breath
- Impaired or delayed healing process after oral surgery or any other form of treatment
- Tongue and tooth stains
- Minimized success rate of dental implant (or tooth replacement) procedures
What else are you risking?
It does not really matter how long a person has used or smoked tobacco products. Quitting this unhealthy habit can help reduce the risk of developing the following serious and fatal health risks for the rest of your body:
- Stroke and heart disease
- Throat, lung, and oral cancers
- Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis
- Premature aging
- Tooth decay and Periodontitis
- Leukoplakia or lesions or mouth sores that do not heal
Contact Resnick & Rosenfeld, DDS
If you’re a tobacco user, you should be visiting your dentist more than every 6 months. You’re at a much higher risk of developing a multitude of health problems and we can help you keep an eye out for them. If you decide to quit using tobacco, your dentist in Edison will be here to support you and point you in the direction of helpful resources if you need them. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.
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