Posted on 3/20/2020 by Brandon Cooley
|Tobacco use has been linked to a large number of heath conditions. One of the most common is lung cancer, with tobacco smoking having the highest attributable risk to lung cancer.
Aside from all the cancers attributed to tobacco, tobacco has been shown to cause a decline in oral health. Tobacco in all its forms has also been attributed to gum disease, delayed wound healing, and staining of the teeth.
How Does Tobacco Cause Gum Disease?
The nicotine in tobacco has been shown to affect the normal functioning of gum cells. This inadvertently causes a hindrance to the attachment of teeth to the gum. This creates a micro-environment whereby the gum is affected by numerous infections, such as periodontal disease. This eventually can lead to tooth loss.
Once infection ensues, healing is hindered because nicotine causes vasoconstriction of the vessels that supply the gum. People who use tobacco tend to have problems healing from tooth extractions and even simple oral surgeries for this reason.
In addition, tobacco causes inflammation of the salivary gland ducts in the oral cavity. This causes drying of the mouth, which further leads to infection in the mouth. With nicotine, there is buildup of plaque on the teeth leading to tooth cavities.
Patients who are using tobacco, regardless of its form, are also at risk of developing oral cancers and instances of failed dental implants.
What About Smokeless Tobacco?
It has been demonstrated that chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes. One can of snuff has more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes. These statistics point to the culprit being nicotine and not the smoke in cigarettes. As such, it is important to avoid all forms of tobacco regardless of the method of delivery. If you need dental help from any type of tobacco product, reach out to us. We are here to help.