You probably know that smoking can raise your risk of lung cancer, emphysema, heart problems and a host of other serious disease, but did you realize that it can also affect your oral health? The use of tobacco can cause gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental problems. Besides affecting your health, smoking can discolor your teeth and even you tongue.
According to everydayhealth.com:
“It’s hard to say what percentage of people who smoke will get mouth cancer, but the death rate of those who do get it is high — between 40 and 50 percent of all cases, and that hasn’t changed over the last few decades.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that 90 percent of people with oral cancer (cancer affecting the lips, tongue, throat, and mouth) have used tobacco in some form. Likewise, the risk of oral cancer is six times higher among smokers relative to non-smokers. Your individual risk of oral cancer depends on how long you’ve been using tobacco — the longer you use it, the greater your risk.
And people who use smokeless (chewing) tobacco are at a four to six time greater risk of oral cancer than people who don’t use tobacco at all. People who use smokeless tobacco are also at higher risk of tooth decay and cavities because some varieties of chewing tobacco contain sugar for a sweeter taste, and sugar is a primary cause of tooth decay.
At Brogdon Dental we are here to help you. Regular dental visits can help with early detection of gum disease and precancereous mouth sores. The sooner you get treatment, the better your odds are. Call us today to set up a screening.