Topics Of Interest
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Current studies show that tobacco is a MAJOR risk factor for periodontal disease. Smokers are more likely to have gum disease, do not heal as well, and more often have future problems.
There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, more gum recession and more loss of the bone that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, smokeless tobacco greatly increases your chance of developing oral cancer. If oral cancer is left untreated long enough, it may even cause death. Any tobacco usage can complicate the placement of dental implants.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine, which constricts blood vessels, slow down wound healing. Other chemicals impair the function of your white blood cells which are your first line of defense against infection. The tars contain carcinogens which over time induce cell mutations and cancers.
Quitting tobacco use will lower the risk of your developing cancer and improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your heart and lungs.
Smokeless tobacco poses very serious problems including:
- Causes tooth decay
- Eats away your gums
- Leads to tooth loss
- Bad Breath
- Stains your teeth
- Causes oral sensitivity to hot and cold
- Decreases sense of taste and smell
Bruxism is the process of clenching together and the grinding of the upper and lower teeth. During sleep, the biting force of clenched jaws can be up to six times greater than during waking hours.
Bruxism can cause complications over the years:
- Wear down tooth enamel
- Break fillings or other dental work
- Worsening of TMJ dysfunction
- Create jaw pain,toothaches, headaches, or earaches
- Cause tooth sensitivity
- Increase tooth mobility
- Chip Teeth
There is no cure for bruxism; however, the condition can be managed. The most common procedure to help to alleviate pain and discomfort is a Nightguard.
Dry Mouth / Xerostomia
Saliva flow keeps the mouth moist and aids in chewing, swallowing, digestion and speech. Dry mouth is a condition from the lack of normal saliva flow.
- Emotional stress
- Medical Conditions
- Some mouth washes that are high in alcohol content
- Medications (especially antidepressants and blood pressure medications)
- Mouth feels sticky
- Lips cracked and dry
- Tongue may have burning sensation
- Sugar-free chewing gum / lozengers
- Humidifier at night
- Maintaining good oral hygiene
People who experience dry mouth are at high risk for developing cavities, gum disease and bad breath.