The most common way people use tobacco is by smoking cigarettes. There are also plenty of people who enjoy chewing tobacco. Just like smoking, chewing tobacco is habit forming and can lead to a multitude of health problems. Many of those problems involve oral health. It is important to understand how chewing tobacco affects the teeth and gums before talking about this habit.
The Reasons it is Dangerous
When you smoke a cigarette, you are inhaling the smoke into your lungs. You realize that you are putting something into your body that does not belong there. People that use chewing tobacco may think it is safer because there is no smoke. That does not take away the danger, it just changes some of the problems you will face.
Chewing tobacco still introduces the harmful chemicals into your body. It also slows down the production of saliva. The way that you use chewing tobacco can cause the same problems as smoking and some other issues.
Gum Disease and More
Chewing tobacco damages the teeth and gums in many ways. It can discolor the teeth. The grit in chewing tobacco wears down the enamel of the teeth and can cause pockets to form.
These things can allow bacteria to form and grow. That can lead to tooth decay and cavities. It can also cause the gums to recede, which can lead to gum disease. The lack of saliva leads to more plaque and tartar.
Issues such as discolored teeth, teeth falling out and gum disease may not scare everyone. They may think that there are things that these are easy to deal with and fix. They do not realize that chewing tobacco also slows down the healing process of any dental work. It makes it harder to repair the damage that has already happened.
There is one big danger that should scare anyone that uses chewing tobacco. The chances of oral cancer in the gums is much higher when using chewing tobacco. The thought of cancer scares most people.
People use chewing tobacco because they like it. If they think about what they are doing to their gums and oral health, they may not enjoy it quite as much. If you want more information about the effect of tobacco on your oral health and your overall health, make an appointment to talk to the dental professionals in our offices.