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Tobacco is Harmful to Your Oral Health

“There is no such thing as a healthy tobacco product”, says the ADA at “Many non-cigarette alternatives are often marketed as healthier alternatives to smoking, but tobacco is harmful to your oral health and overall health. Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of tobacco-related health problems.”

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and teenagers smoke, according to the Surgeon General. Since 1964, more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking. Of the 20 million who died, 2.5 million were nonsmokers who died because of secondhand smoke.

Tobacco Risks & Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco information videos from the ADA.

There are many possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products, including:

  • bad breath
  • 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

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body!

The Surgeon General’s office has a great resource booklet that is designed to give concerned adults information to help them make choices that will improve their own health and the health of their children, their families, and their communities. Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health

Looking to quit? Check out these Tips from Former Smokers. The addictive quality of nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, can make this especially difficult. Once you decide it’s time to quit, 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 Dr. Henrich or your doctor to see if the medications available would help you to stop using tobacco.

Quitting tobacco use is one step closer to becoming healthier. It is time and you can do it!

It is important to visit your dentist every six months. Dr. Henrich is your first line of defense in early detection of oral cancers. Your regular dental cleaning appointment is far more than “just a cleaning”. Dr. Henrich screens for oral cancers and other conditions in the mouth to make sure that you are healthy.