Category Archives for "Oral Health"

Tobacco and Your Dental Health

Tobacco and Your Oral Health

We all know smoking is definitely not good for our overall health – the worst effects are on our lungs. But did you know that smoking tobacco also has serious repercussions on our oral health as well?

Aside from the negative effects smoking has on our general health (respiratory system, etc.) , studies show that smoking is also damaging to our oral health and is a cause of many issues including discolored teeth, to gum disease, to oral cancer.

Jim ThalmoreΒ a professor at the South Bay University of Dentistry says smoking tobacco can cause our tongue and our teeth to turn yellow. He says that staining on the tongue is also very evident among tobacco users.

Aside from teeth and tongue discoloration, tobacco use can even escalate to more serious oral health conditions like periodontal disease and oral cancer.

According to doctor Thalmore, the most serious of all oral health conditions is mouth cancer. He says it is difficult to predict what percentage of smokers are likely to get mouth cancer, but the death rate of those who do smoke is really high. He says over the last few decades, around forty to fifty percent of mouth cancer is attributed to smoking and tobacco use.

Dr. Tiana Pham, a colleague of doctor Thalmore, recommends going in for a dental check up at least twice a year, and three times a year if you have poor oral health or are a smoker. Dr. Tiana Pham is a dentist at Vibrant Smiles, a clinic in North Richland Hills, Texas. She regularly treats patients who are chronic smokers, and she often encounters patients who have discolored teeth or gum disease as a result. If teeth whitening is not enough to solve the issue, sometimes dental implants are necessary to fix the damaged teeth.

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Smokers And Their Oral Health Conditions

Smokers And Their Oral Health Conditions

Reports from the American Cancer Society estimates that around ninety percent of individuals who are diagnosed with oral cancer (cancer that affects the mouth, the throat, the tongue and the lips) have used tobacco. Similarly, the risk of oral cancer is six times higher among individuals who smoke compared to those who don’t smoke. The risk of oral cancer depends largely on the duration of your use of tobacco. In the other words, the longer you smoke or use tobacco, the higher your risk of getting oral cancer.

Some people often justify that using other forms of tobacco aside from smoking is safer. This is not true, in fact, tobacco regardless of its form has the same amount of risks and it is difficult to figure which among those is worse than the other whether tobacco is inhaled, smoked or chewed.

The bottom line of it all is that if you expose yourself to tobacco regardless of its form on a regular basis you are deliberately compromising your health. Pipe smokers, although they may not smoke as much, can still contract cancer of the lips since they are holding the pipe on the same position on their lips. There’s also a misleading myth that chewing tobacco poses fewer risks. Again, this has not been proven to be true.
According to reports, people who chew tobacco are at 4 to 6 times greater risk of getting oral cancer compared to individuals who do not use tobacco. Individuals who use smokeless tobacco are also at high risk of getting cavities and tooth decay because there are also certain chewing tobaccos that contain sugar to make it sweet and we all know sugar causes cavities.

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