The Trouble with Tobacco


There is no doubt that tobacco can be very, very bad for you and your overall health. As one of the culprits behind oral diseases, cigarette-smoking has led to countless mouth problems, including gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis, mouth sores, stained teeth, plaque, and even oral cancer.

Time to throw that cigarette away

Smoking kills—and this is not an understatement. When you smoke, you put your health and body at risk to countless of diseases and other complications. One of them is oral cancer—which is the number one disease most likely to affect cigarette smokers. Mouth cancer has a 50% death rate, and this percentage hasn’t changed over the past decade.

90% of patients that have oral cancer are smokers. This puts a smoker six times more at risk of contracting the disease as compared to non-smokers. Smoking cigarettes for a long time puts you even more at risk—so the chances of you developing the disease just got higher if you started smoking at a very early age.

Periodontal diseases and other mouth problems

Heavy tobacco usage has led to even more complicated oral problems. Serious complications like periodontal disease can occur if you are a smoker. Smoking can lead to bone deterioration inside the mouth, causing inflammation, mouth sores, and tooth loss.

Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is another serious problem. Tobacco can also cause heavy discoloration in your teeth, gums, and the tongue.

What you can do

It’s a universally-accepted fact that quitting smoking is a very, very hard thing to do. Quitting takes a long time, even years, to accomplish, and this makes it hard for smokers, because they will be at risk of developing mouth diseases and other complications.

If you can quit smoking, or at least try to lessen tobacco usage daily, you put yourself less at risk of developing serious oral problems. Getting dental checkups is always a good way to prevent serious oral diseases from starting, so make sure that you consult your dentist regularly.

Finally, make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth regularly makes your mouth cleaner and healthier. The risk of bacteria developing is lessened, giving you protection against serious mouth problems that will most likely occur if you do not brush your teeth. Flossing daily also helps—your dentist is always correct whenever he or she says this.

Kick the habit

Tobacco has been considered a major problem when it comes to people’s overall health—so the real and only solution would be to quit smoking. Quitting smoking will put you less at risk in developing serious mouth problems and diseases. Though it may be hard, it is always possible.

Visit your dentist regularly if you are having a hard time quitting, because early detection is always the key to prevention. This way, your dentist can also help you in quitting, so that you can steer clear from oral diseases and other mouth problems.

The author was inspired to try and quit smoking after a recent visit to her dentist (

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