Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. Most associate it with causing lung cancer, but did you know that smoking threatens the health of your teeth and gums and can lead to oral cancer? Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris, echo the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) as it recognizes the dangers of smoking. This month on May 31st, the WHO designates May 31st as World No Tobacco Day. The WHO asks countries worldwide to raise taxes on tobacco as a concrete means to curtail tobacco consumption. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris want to ensure the long-term oral health of all their patients. They discuss the negative consequences of smoking here.
A Proven Risk Factor for Cancers
Smoking is a risk factor in many cancers including cancer of the mouth, throat, lip, tongue and salivary glands. Smokeless tobacco products are not any safer because they have been found to contain several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs,) chemicals that can cause cancer. For example, smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco can put you at greater risk for developing oral cancer, throat cancer, or esophageal cancer.
Gum disease is typically painless in its early stages and progresses gradually, so some patients may not realize they have it. Smoking increases your chances of developing gum disease because it causes tartar to collect on your teeth more quickly. The presence of tartar for a continued period of time can lead to gum inflammation or infection, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild and reversible form of gum disease. It requires the attention of a dental professional to remove the tartar thoroughly. If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to a more serious form of gum disease, and the gums and the bone will pull away from the teeth. As the bone and gums deteriorate, they are unable to adequately support the teeth, and the teeth can become loose and fall out.
Many people yearn for a brighter, whiter smile. But smoking quickly stains teeth because of its nicotine and tar. It also leads to bad breath because it lowers the amount of saliva that we produce. Without a steady saliva flow, food particles remain in our mouths, making unpleasant odors. Also, a healthy amount of saliva helps to prevent gum disease, another culprit for bad breath. Smoking can also decrease your ability to taste foods.
About Our Doctors
Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris wish to educate their patients about the dangers of smoking in honor of World No Tobacco Day. In their Mansfield office, they provide general, restorative, and cosmetic services. To schedule a consultation, please call our office at (817) 259-1357. They serve patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.