Is your Smile going up in Smoke? – Tobacco and Oral Health

SmokingWe are no longer in the dark about the major effects of smoking on your overall health. Smoking can cause heart disease, but many don’t consider the damage it is doing to their teeth and oral health.

How dangerous is smoking to my mouth?

Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with an increased risk of several cancers, including lung, mouth, tongue, lips, voice box, throat, and more.

Some of the conditions smoking can lead to include:

  • Loss of jawbone
  • Patches in the mouth (leukoplakia)
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Slow healing after treatments to the teeth
  • Oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease
  • Stained teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Mouth sores
  • Face wrinkles

Smokers have high cancer risk. The American Dental Association reports that about eight out of ten people with mouth and throat cancers use tobacco and the risk of developing these cancers increases with the amount smoked or chewed and duration of the habit.

If you use tobacco in any form now or in the past, your regular dental checkups are vital. Your dental professionals routinely perform oral cancer screening. Dr. Postol is happy to help you receive a cancer screening at any time.

What are the common symptoms of oral cancer?

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficult or painful chewing
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling that something is caught in your throat

We would love to help you learn how to take great care of your teeth and a how to get a truly smoking hot smile. Contact your Ballwin dentist, Dr. Postol, today for an oral cancer screening.


Posted in Dental News

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