Smoking Risks and Oral Health
Smoking and tobacco use are well documented oral and overall health risks. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was issued in 1964. Still, many people choose to smoke or use tobacco products.
At Our Dentist, your oral health is our top priority. We believe that patient education is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene. The following information is designed to better educate our patients on the harmful effects of tobacco.
Problems Associated with Tobacco Use
Smoking and tobacco use has been linked to several oral health problems, some of which include:
Smoking and Periodontal Disease
Periodontal, or gum disease, is an infection that is a result of the bacteria found in plaque. As a response to these bacteria, our immune system produces toxins that also target our healthy tissues. Over time our soft tissues, connective ligaments, and alveolar bone will deteriorate due to these toxins. If left untreated, periodontal disease will lead to tooth loss.
Studies have shown that smoking and tobacco use can interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes patients much more likely to develop infections, such as gum disease. Tobacco use has also been shown to restrict blood flow to the gum tissues. This can have significant consequences if a wound is present. If you have recently undergone oral surgery or dental implant treatment, you will be asked to eliminate tobacco use.
How You Can Quit Tobacco
Quitting is the only way to reduce your risk of developing smoking and tobacco-related oral health problems. Even reducing your exposure to tobacco can help. Just remember it is never too late to quit.
The statistics surrounding smoking and tobacco use are reason enough to quit. According to the American Cancer Society, about 90% of people with oral-related cancers use tobacco. Smokers are also six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers. Furthermore, 37% of patients who continue to smoke after treatment will develop a second bout of oral-related cancers.
Dr. Brahmbhatt may be able to help you curb your nicotine cravings with medications, such as nicotine patches and gum. The addictive qualities of nicotine can make quitting especially hard. Many people find it helpful to join a support group or class, where they can lean on others for support. Many of these programs are offered through local hospitals or even health insurance companies. Some patients also find results with herbal remedies, hypnosis, and acupuncture.
Schedule an Appointment
If you would like to improve your oral health call (413) 217-4455 and schedule an appointment now.
Mitesh G. Brahmbhatt, DMD
747 Memorial Drive
Chicopee, MA 01020
Call today (413) 217-4455
Our Dentist is located in Chicopee, MA, and proudly serves the surrounding areas of Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Ludlow, West Springfiled, Wilbraham, South Hadley, Granby, Belchertown, Easthampton, Northampton, Hadley, Amherst, Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Southwick.