Tobacco use and oral health in St. Augustine

cigarette smoking

Break Free From Tobacco: Reclaim Your Oral Health

Don't let tobacco compromise your oral health! While you may already be aware of the general health risks of using tobacco products, you may not be aware of just how detrimental tobacco use can be to your oral health. People who use tobacco products are at increased risk for:

  • Severely stained teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer

While the goal isn't to shame you, every dentist wants you to understand the severity of the oral health risks associated with tobacco use. Here at Anastasia Dental Associates in St. Augustine, we offer a supportive, judgment-free approach to helping people who are struggling with the dental effects of tobacco use. In addition to providing information about the benefits of quitting, we can provide you with need-to-know information about mitigating the negative effects of tobacco use on your teeth and gums using preventative and restorative care. Our expert care can make a major difference in your oral health.

How Tobacco Affects Your Oral Health

woman smoking

Persistent tobacco use severely damages oral health. There's simply no way around this fact! Tar and nicotine in tobacco products cause deep discoloration that creates a yellow, dull smile. Something that is discussed less often is the way that tobacco use can leave you with persistent bad breath that causes embarrassment. You may already be relying on mints and gum just to gain the confidence to have conversations with other people.

While a dull smile and offensive breath already inspire one to quit tobacco products, the reality is that these aren't even the harshest consequences. Tobacco use puts you in a high-risk category for gum disease and oral cancers. You may also be at increased risk for gum ulcers and infections due to the way that tobacco weakens and erodes gum tissue. While quitting should be the ultimate goal, it's important to stay on track with routine dental checkups even if you're not quite there yet because early detection is crucial for getting early, life-saving treatment. The dentist chair is one of the top spots for getting an early diagnosis before you even begin to notice signs that something is wrong.

It's also important to know that tobacco use and smoking can slow down your gum tissue's healing ability. That means that you may have a harder time healing if you need to have a routine dental procedure done. In addition to increasing pain and discomfort, this slow healing can also increase your risks for infections and complications. While your dentist in St. Augustine will make every effort to help you enjoy a speedy recovery, the health consequences of tobacco can't always be controlled. It's our desire that you enjoy a comfortable, smooth experience whenever you require dental work to promote a healthy, attractive smile.

Why You Should Strongly Consider Quitting Tobacco

There's so much to gain for your oral health from walking away from tobacco products! Once you quit, your chances of developing gum diseases, oral cancer, tooth decay, oral ulcers, tooth loss, and other major oral health issues decrease dramatically. You will also be able to begin corrective work without worries that tobacco use will compromise your ability to heal. Benefits tend to increase over time as you get further and further away from tobacco use. However, most people experience fresher breath almost immediately. You may also be able to stop staining in its tracks.

Something else magical happens when people quit tobacco products. You just might find that you feel inspired to follow healthier habits for dental hygiene once you're no longer using tobacco. Many people simply begin taking better care of their teeth after quitting because they no longer feel hopeless about the damage that is being done. What's more, you're probably going to find it much easier to maintain a clean, fresh mouth once you're no longer inundating your teeth and gums with chemicals and toxins daily. Your dentist in St. Augustine is excited to help you create a protocol for a "mouth makeover" that combines regular brushing and flossing with routine cleanings and examinations here at our friendly office.

Something we've observed here at our dental office is that many of our patients report that they can taste and smell much better after quitting tobacco. Because tobacco dulls your senses of taste and smell, you may be experiencing many flavors and odors in a muted capacity. Feeling all of those senses return can be quite thrilling!

You Don't Have to Quit Tobacco Alone

Anastasia Dental Associates is your partner in oral health from the moment you call our office for your first visit. There's no need to try to conceal or downplay tobacco use when booking appointments for cleanings and examinations. While we always recommend quitting, we understand that breaking any habit is a complicated process that requires understanding and patience. When you share with us the fact that you use tobacco regularly, we'll be able to monitor your oral health with this information in mind. We'll be sure to examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer, gum disease, and other complications to help you stay proactive as you make plans to change your habits.

If our dentist notices signs of disease or cancer during an examination, we'll help you make decisions for treatment. Some of the options offered here at our office include root planing, tooth scaling, and restorative surgeries. While screenings are important for everyone, they are especially important for tobacco users because the risks of tobacco use for oral health are undeniable.

We also understand your desire for cosmetic treatments to help reduce signs of tobacco use. If you're self-conscious due to staining, we can offer you whitening treatments to help restore the vibrancy that tobacco has taken from you. We also offer in-depth cleanings to fight plaque and tartar that can lead to decay when left unchecked.

At Anastasia Dental Associates, we understand that quitting tobacco overnight isn't always realistic. We don't want you to put off routine cleanings and examinations until you quit. The time to take advantage of resources and expertise is now! We're here to encourage you through your journey by giving you the best oral care possible. Take a step toward saving your teeth from tobacco damage by booking an appointment with your dentist in St. Augustine today. Bright smiles are possible after tobacco!