If you use any type of tobacco product, you probably already know the effects it can have on your health, but are you aware of the risks this poses to your oral health? Tobacco products can affect a person's oral health in many ways, and here are some of the effects the use of tobacco has on your teeth and mouth.
It causes a reduction in blood flow to your mouth
Tobacco products contain nicotine, which is an addictive ingredient. One of the problems nicotine causes is a reduction of blood flow to the mouth. When blood flow decreases, oxygen decreases, too. This makes it harder for the mouth to heal and fight infections and bacteria. Because of this, you pose added risks to your mouth for oral issues.
It causes dryness in the mouth
Secondly, tobacco products contain ingredients that lead to dryness in the mouth. These ingredients actually impede the ability of your saliva glands to produce the saliva your mouth needs and relies on. Without enough of this, your mouth will not only feel dry and sticky, but it will also have trouble keeping your mouth clean. Saliva is a cleansing ingredient naturally made by your body, and one of the key purposes of saliva is to clean away bacteria in your mouth.
It leads to more inflammation of the gums
Due to the dryness of your mouth and the restriction of blood flow, you will have an increased risk of developing inflammation of your gums. Inflammation of the gums is due to an infection in the mouth and is a sign of gum disease. Fighting this effect is very hard to do if you use tobacco products each day.
It discolors the teeth and leads to enamel erosion
One last effect of tobacco use on your teeth is discoloration, and this is especially true for smokers. Tobacco stains teeth, and it is almost impossible to avoid this. Additionally, the use of tobacco products tends to lead to enamel erosion. When your enamel erodes, it means it wears off, leaving your teeth exposed to bacteria. The result of this is an increased risk of cavities and other oral health issues.
Because the use of tobacco effects teeth in these ways, a tobacco user will often experience a higher rate of cavities and gum disease compared to a person who does not use tobacco products. If you would like to learn more about the effects of tobacco use and how to exercise proper dental care, contact a dentist today.