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Tobacco and your its affect on your Smile

You've heard it all before. Tobacco use in any form is unhealthy. It weakens your lungs, your circulation, and other systems in your body. It's estimated that every cigarette shortens the smoker's life by fourteen minutes.

Nicotine is also harmful to your teeth and gums. Nicotine stains on the teeth are a minor problem. The irritation from cigarettes, chewing tobacco or 'snuff' can be a major problem. Your gums' resistance to infections and bacteria is lowered because of a diminished blood supply. Nicotine, from any source, causes a narrowing of the blood vessels within the tissues of the mouth. To make a bad situation worse, smokers are not only statistically more likely to develop gum disease, but they usually have it worse than non-smokers.

Even more serious, though, is the fact that oral cancer is quite common among smokers. A tumor may form inside the mouth, usually the tongue, and potentially spread to other parts of the body. Whether you smoke or not, regular dental visits are a must for long-term dental health.

by Oleg Vinson DDS
photo credit: 'PixelPlacebo' via photopin cc


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