What to Know About Nicotine and Your Smile
Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to quit; especially because it can be such a social thing. In addition to causing lung cancer and heart disease, however, nicotine is notorious for causing a host of other issues including oral health problems. From gingivitis to cavities, let’s take a closer look at a few issues that nicotine can cause.
Gingivitis or gum diseases is one of the most common oral conditions that we see patients for. Typically, patients get gum disease when they don’t take good care of their teeth and brush along the gumline. However, patients who use nicotine are way more susceptible to getting it. Nicotine causes bio-film (a thick, sticky substance) to form along the gumline which can cause bacteria to build up and results in gum disease.
The most severe thing that nicotine can cause (orally) is oral cancer. There are several types of oral cancer, including cancer of the cheek, tongue, and throat. Although it can be easily treated if it’s caught early on, it’s not something that we want any of our patients to have to endure.
Another thing that patients who use nicotine are prone to getting is cavities. Cavities are the most common oral issue that we see patients for. Similar to how nicotine causes gingivitis, that same biofilm can result in cavities. Plus, nicotine causes dry mouth, which can also lead to cavities.
Quitting smoking can literally save your life and your oral health. To help prevent your chances of oral health issues, schedule your next cleaning with us at our Melville office and call us at (631) 423-6767.