Smoking and chewing tobacco are dangerous to your oral health and to your overall health. In addition to contributing to tooth loss through gum disease, tobacco use may also lead to serious problems such as oral cancer.
Depending on the amount of tobacco use, smokers can expect to develop a combination of the following:
- Persistent bad breath
- Discoloured teeth
- An increase in calculus tarter build-up
- Gum and bone disease that may progress more quickly and be more severe than in non-smokers
- Jaw bone loss
- Shifting teeth
- An increased number of missing teeth
- Oral cancers
- Mouth sores
- Root caries cavities
- Altered sense of taste and smell
- Delayed wound healing
Smoking has been established as a significant risk factor for gum disease. Tobacco reduces blood flow to the gums, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients that allow gums to stay healthy, and leaving them vulnerable to bacterial infection.
If left unchecked, gum disease can lead to the destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues, abscesses and tooth loss.