With every drag on a cigarette or cigar, with every wad of chew that you put into your mouth, with any kind of tobacco use – significant damage is being done to your health. In fact, when it comes to bad habits, few are worse than tobacco use. Tobacco users are far more vulnerable to developing a wide range of diseases than those who do not use tobacco. The negative health effects of tobacco have been well documented, yet tobacco products are still a billion dollar industry. Before you light up or reach for another dip, it is essential to know what you are exposing yourself to.
Many people only associate lung cancer with long-term tobacco use. This is one major health concern that is specifically related to smoking. Every time you inhale smoke, damage is done to the inside of your lungs. Smoking introduces many chemicals into the body, which cause debilitating changes to the airways and lungs. Breathing problems are also associated with smoking, specifically related to the poisonous chemicals that are not meant to be inside the human body. While lung cancer and breathing problems are dangerous conditions, they are not the only ones that tobacco users should be concerned with.
Periodontal disease and oral cancer are prominent conditions among those who smoke and chew tobacco. The gum tissues inside the mouth are present to give support and strength to the teeth. These tissues are alive, with direct blood supplies traveling to and from the heart. Periodontal disease is the severe infection of the gum tissues. Tobacco users’ gums become irritated and their immunities weakened due to the chemicals inside tobacco. With a weakened immune system, the gums are vulnerable to infection and disease. Smoking and chewing tobacco causes the gums to become raw and irritated, allowing even casual germs to wreak havoc on the oral health. Periodontal disease causes irreversible damage to the mouth, making tooth loss almost inevitable or extensive treatment a necessity.
Oral cancer is also prominent among tobacco users because the weakened state of the gums, leaves the mouth’s health overly compromised. With a weakened immune system and the oral health compromised, the oral cavity does not have the ability to fight off disease. And, cancer cells do not isolate themselves; they can easily travel through the blood stream and pose life-threatening damage to the entire body.
At Kyle Parkway Dentistry, we want to help you overcome the oral damage that tobacco use has caused. Please contact our practice today.