Today is “World No Tobacco Day.” Not only does tobacco usage have an impact on your lungs, it also has a detrimental impact on your oral health. Some effects that tobacco use has on your mouth are:
- Brown/black staining of the teeth
- Increased risk of tooth decay and tooth loss
- Bad breath
- Impaired taste buds
- Black hairy tongue
- Periodontitis- infected gums, loss of the jawbone that supports your teeth, and deep spaces forming around the teeth
- Brown spots on your gums
- Mouth and throat cancer
- Impaired healing of the gums and bones in your mouth
Users of chewing tobacco and snuff are at an especially high risk of oral cancers. (Especially cancers of the gums, cheeks, lips, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth.)
According to the Institute of Medicine about 80% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are tobacco users and tobacco use contributes to about 490,000 premature deaths per year, making it the leading cause of death. This is more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, fires, and suicides combined.
If cancer is not yet present, stopping tobacco use halves the risk of oral and throat cancer within the first five years and continues to decline over time. Curious how you can quit using tobacco? This article shares five steps to help curb your addiction.
In honor of World No Tobacco Day, remember to consider the effects that tobacco usage may have on your health and those around you before you smoke or chew. It isn’t too late to turn the effects of tobacco around and significantly decrease your risk of cancer.