Tobacco and Your Oral Health
Tobacco is often linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer, but many people are unaware of its link to dental problems. In fact, tobacco increases the risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay, dry mouth and other potentially serious smile problems. It is also a major risk factor for oral cancer. Both chewing and smoking tobacco carry risks for your teeth and gums, but the risks don’t end with you. Studies have demonstrated a link between secondhand smoke and cavities in children. If you smoke, now is a great time to evaluate your dental health and take steps to protect it.
The World Health Organization Oral Health Program strongly advises patients who use tobacco to stop as soon as possible and those who don’t to continue avoiding it. If you choose to keep smoking or chewing tobacco, you need to be meticulous about your dental hygiene and ensure you are brushing for two minutes at a time twice a day and flossing daily. A fluoride mouthwash can be used to help strengthen dental enamel and combat oral bacteria. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow and take your mind off those pesky cravings. Finally, visit us frequently for professional cleanings. These visits give us an opportunity to examine your teeth and gums for signs of early changes that should be monitored or evaluated further.
Smoking cessation programs are available and can help you quit smoking or chewing tobacco for good. We can help connect you with the best program for your needs. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our dentist in West Hollywood.
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