Influence of Tobacco on Your Oral Health

There are a great many items out there that can do a number on our oral health. However, some of the worst products that are popularly used are tobacco products. The CDC states that over 40 million adults smoke cigarettes alone in the United States while over 4.7 million children from middle to high school use some sort of tobacco product. These are staggering numbers. Although there are many other health implications when it comes to using tobacco products, oral health can take a hard hit for those who use them regularly.

Oral Health Issues from Tobacco

Some of the first oral health issues you will see start popping up immediately upon using tobacco products is bad breath and teeth staining. Of course, bad breath and staining can be combatted by brushing regularly, ADA approved gum, and mouth rinse. However, even after using all these options, the smell of tobacco can linger, and after a bit of use, staining will begin to stick around as well, causing long-term discoloration of your teeth.

After prolonged use of tobacco products, your gums will start to loosen from your teeth causing them to swell, redden, and bleed easily. This leads to gum disease, which can cause major health complications if left untreated. For example, gum disease can grow in severity turning into periodontal disease. This can turn into infection leading all the way to the bones in your face. This can result in bone loss, permanent tooth loss, etc. This can mean a lot of dental work costing a large sum of money in a short period of time. Not to mention the discomfort and unsightly appearance this will cause with your teeth.

If all that was listed above wasn’t enough, if you require dental work, tobacco use can cause issues in this dental work being accomplished. Due to the fact that tobacco use causes gums to become loose means that the mouth can’t be fixed because the dental work may not hold. This also means that any dental work that may be accomplished will be slower at healing. Continued tobacco use can eventually lead to mouth cancer which can affect all areas of the mouth, lips, throat, etc.

How Can These Issues Be Stopped?

The only way to reverse many of these issues once they arise from tobacco use is to stop using tobacco products altogether, including vapes. However, some severe symptoms can’t be reversed and may be a life-long issue. There are some severe issues such as the periodontal disease that can be reversed but, it will take time and a few visits to the dentist or orthodontist to reverse the damage. If caught early on, symptoms can be avoided by halting the use of tobacco altogether. If continued, tobacco will, without fail, cause most of the symptoms listed above, a few of those symptoms happening shortly after use has begun.

In general, it’s a good idea to stay away from all tobacco and cease use immediately if you’re currently partaking in these products. All that is listed above are the effects only involving oral health, this doesn’t include all the other issues tobacco causes to the rest of your body. As always, speak to your dental professional about any help or questions you may have on the effects of smoking with your oral health in mind. For all other issues, you’ll want to speak to your physician.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”