The Silent Threat: Tobacco’s Impact on Your Oral Health

Authored by Dr. Kavitha Chandramouli, Chief of Dental Services and Sr. Consultant – Orthodontist, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore

Tobacco use has detrimental consequences on one’s general health. Although the connection between tobacco use and lung cancer is widely known, its harmful effects on dental health are sometimes overlooked.

A Profusion of Issues: Cigarettes and Oral Health

Numerous dangerous substances are present in tobacco in all of its forms, including e-cigarettes, gutka, khaini, and cigarettes. These substances disrupt the fragile oral environment and raise your chance of developing a number of oral health issues.

● Mouth Cancer: With a strong correlation to tobacco usage, India has one of the highest occurrences of mouth cancer in the world. The carcinogens in tobacco harm the DNA of the cells in your mouth, causing unchecked growth and potentially fatal tumours.

● Gum Disease: The immune system’s ability to combat the microorganisms that cause gum disease (periodontitis) is weakened by tobacco usage. Inflammation can harm the tissues that hold your teeth in place, causing discomfort, bleeding gums, and sometimes even tooth loss.

● Slowed Healing: Tobacco poisons narrow blood vessels, which lowers blood flow to your gums. Because of this decreased circulation, your mouth is more prone to infections and the healing process following dental operations is hampered.

● Leukoplakia: White patches on the tongue, gums, or inner cheeks are a symptom of this precancerous illness. Although leukoplakia is not dangerous in and of itself, if ignored, it greatly raises your risk of oral cancer.

Beyond the Illness: Further Dental Issues

Tobacco use has detrimental impacts on your dental health that go beyond major illnesses. Here’s what to anticipate:

● Stained Teeth: Tobacco products’ tar and nicotine cause unsightly brown or yellow stains on your teeth, which take away from the beauty of your smile.

● Bad Breath: Halitosis, a persistently unpleasant odour, is caused by microorganisms in your mouth breaking down tobacco residue.

● Impaired Taste: Smoking numbs your taste buds, making it harder to appreciate meals.

Managing Your Dental Health: Useful Advice

The single best thing you can do for your dental health is to give up smoking. This is how to begin:

● Seek Assistance: Consult your physician about prescription drugs or nicotine replacement therapy as aids to quitting. Counselling and support groups can also be quite helpful.

● Plan Frequent Dental Checkups: Early detection of oral health issues enables prompt management. Regular dental cleanings and examinations aid in this process.

● Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: By eliminating plaque and germs with a daily floss and twice-day brushing with fluoride toothpaste, you can lower your chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

● Maintain a Healthy Diet: To supply your body the resources it needs to fight infection and encourage recovery, choose a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

A Better Tomorrow Is Here To Stay

Not only are you preserving your lungs and general health when you recognise the risks associated with tobacco use and take proactive measures to give it up, but you’re also preserving your oral health and appearance. Prioritise routine dental care and discuss a personalised quit strategy with your doctor. Keep in mind that having a healthy mouth opens doors to a healthier you.