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Oral Health Topics

TOBACCO


Use of any tobacco product can increase your risk of developing oral cancer and gum disease (periodontal disease).

Tobacco products damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas.

Smoking can delay healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery. Smoking also can contribute to bad breath, stains on your teeth and tongue, and a build-up of tartar on your teeth.

Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers. Like cigarette smokers, cigar smokers are at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.

The American Dental Association states that it “has long been a leader in the battle against tobacco-related disease, working to educate the public about the dangers inherent in tobacco use and encouraging dentists to help their patients break the cycle of addiction. The ADA has continually strengthened and updated its tobacco policies as new scientific information has become available.”


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