Monday, 20 April 2015
Tobacco Linked to Oral Health – How Does it Affect You?
There has been so much press over the past few years about tobacco use and your overall health. According to Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom, tobacco use can also have a significantly negative impact on your oral health, in addition to tooth discolouration.
In addition to tobacco use, the number of mouth cancer cases being reported throughout the world each year is increasing at an alarming rate. In the United Kingdom alone there are over six thousand five hundred new cases reported on an annual basis and over two thousand fatalities as a result of mouth cancer. Ninety per cent of these cases are linked to tobacco use of some kind and at some point in life.
Oral cancer can be treated, with the best results when caught in early stages. Of course the best option is to stop smoking as soon as possible to reduce the risk of contracting this form of cancer. Red and white patches in the mouth, an ulcer that won’t heal, problems swallowing and pain are all signs of mouth cancer. Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms should seek medical or dental advice as soon as possible.
Another way that tobacco can severely affect oral health is with periodontal disease. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that starts with the inflammation of the gums and then moves to the roots and bone. With periodontal disease, treatment is essential as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further complications. Failure to treat periodontitis can result in tooth loss and jaw bone damage in the long run.
Tariq Drabu did mention that it doesn’t matter if you smoke or chew tobacco; the risks of oral health problems are dramatically increased. Chewing tobacco can increase your risk of oral cancer by six times of that of a person who has never chewed tobacco before. You will also find that chewing tobacco increases your risk of tooth decay. While pipe smokers may not smoke on a regular basis, they have an increased risk of lip cancer.
In the United Kingdom there are ways to stop smoking with the help and guidance of your doctor. Smoking cessation is offered in all doctors’ surgeries throughout the country, along with support groups and medications to try and assist patients to stop smoking and improve their overall health.
Smoking cessation can be anything from nicotine patches to chewing gum to medications to help stop smoking. Some people need to use a number of treatments at first and slowly wean themselves off the nicotine. It is not an easy process and requires determination and perseverance, according to Dr Tariq Drabu. The results are outstanding and the oral health risk is greatly reduces within a very short time.
Whether you currently use tobacco or you have recently stopped, it is imperative to keep up with your routine dental appointments. Routine dental appointments vary from one person to the next, based on your overall oral health. This means you may need to visit the dentist every six months or every year. Routine appointments are an opportunity for the dentist to examine your mouth, teeth and gums. It enables them to catch any problems early on and put an effective treatment plan in place.
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