How Consuming Tobacco Affects the Dental Health
The negative effects of tobacco use have been well documented. The use of tobacco is responsible for many serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, asthma, chronic bronchitis and cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, stomach, kidney and bladder. Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death, responsible for 4.9 million deaths each year.
Tobacco use has a dramatic impact on oral health. Besides increasing the risk of oral cancers, the use of tobacco leads to an increased incidence of periodontal (gum) disease. Cases of gum disease among smokers is also more severe than for nonsmokers. For those concerned about their appearance, there are also aesthetic concerns. Smoking causes teeth to become discolored, prematurely yellowing the teeth and making the individual appear older.
Many smokers, knowing the dangers of tobacco use, would like to quit, but do not know how. If this is you, there is hope. There are many smoking cessation products and programs on the market today. While any medical professional can advise you on the utilization of a cessation program, it has been shown that a multi-disciplinary approach, involving both your physician as well as your dentist, can increase the likelihood of achieving success with the program. Therefore, speak with your dentist and your physician about your desire to quit, and ask them for recommendations and guidance on the best program for you. Working together with your medical team, you can indeed quit and get back on the road to good health.
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