THE EFFECTS OF TOBACCO USE ON YOUR ORAL HEALTH

Tobacco use doesn't just increase lung cancer, it also causes many other illnesses — such as oral cancer and periodontal disease. Among adults, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Tobacco use includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah and chewing tobacco. No matter what form of tobacco you use, it negatively affects your mouth.

If quitting is out of the question for you, visiting your dentist regularly will help immensely in maintaining your teeth and preventing further problems. However, the best thing to do for those who want a healthy mouth is to stop using tobacco.

THE RISKS

Using tobacco increases the amount of your mouth's calculus — a hard material that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups is the only way to remove calculus.Dentists will use ultrasonic tools and specialized sharp instruments to clean off excess calculus.

Aside from staining your teeth, calculus also contains bacteria that infects your gums and destroys your teeth. Left unattended, the bacteria will shrink bone and gum until your teeth loosen and fall out.

Continued tobacco use hides the symptoms commonly associated with periodontal diseases, making it significantly harder to detect and treat. Tobacco use decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients sent to your gum and bones, which is what thwarts the healing process.

Tobacco use also causes bad breath, cancer, loss of smell and taste, a hairy black tongue, mouth sores and spots.