Dental Benefits of Giving Up Chewing Tobacco

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You might have started to chew tobacco several years ago in an effort to fit in with a crowd, but now is a good time to think about stopping. Regardless of your age and the length of time you've had this habit, stopping will not only save you money, but it can also be beneficial to your dental health in a variety of ways. If you attend regular dental checkups, there's a solid chance that your dentist has warned you about the dangers of chewing tobacco and advised you to curb your habit. Whether you quit cold turkey, use nicotine-replacement products for a period of time, or find another strategy that works for you, here are some dental benefits of giving up chewing tobacco.

A Brighter Smile

One of the visual concerns of chewing tobacco is that it can deeply stain your teeth. This is especially true of your lower teeth, as your chewing tobacco is typically held in close proximity to them, but the dark juices that you swirl in your mouth and spit can stain all of your teeth. After a period of chewing, your smile won't be nearly as bright as it once was. After giving up chewing tobacco, you may wish to ask your dentist about teeth whitening — and then be happy that you no longer have a habit that will stain your pearly whites.

No More Gum Recession

Another dental issue related to chewing tobacco is that the substance can cause your gums to recede. Gum recession is a concern because when more of the surface area of your teeth is exposed, there are more areas that can develop cavities and other issues. Receding gums can also lead to tooth sensitivity, which may make your mouth sore upon eating or drinking hot or cold products. Quitting chewing tobacco will slow down the speed at which your gums recede, and you can talk to your doctor about options for reversing the recession.

Lower Risk of Oral Cancers

Chewing tobacco is linked with a number of oral cancers, so quitting the habit will decrease your risk of such serious health issues. The last thing you ever want your dentist to tell you is that he or she sees signs of cancer on your gums or tongue, but the risk of this startling discovery will decrease as you give up the habit. Chewing tobacco can also lead to throat cancer.

For more motivation to give up chewing tobacco, talk to a dentist like Olson, Brant N DDS PA about the benefits it will have for your smile.