You know smoking is bad for your health, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are also harmful to your oral health. For one, tobacco products can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning.
Other possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products include:
- stained teeth and tongue
- dulled sense of taste and smell
- slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
- difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
- gum disease
- oral cancer
Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these and other tobacco-related health problems. The addictive quality of nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, can make this especially difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a support network, people to help you stick to your plan. Write down your reasons for quitting. Exercising, chewing gum and keeping yourself occupied can help you quit. Talk to your dentist or doctor to see if the medications available would help you to stop using tobacco.