If you are a regular smoker or you use smokeless tobacco on a regular basis, then you need to be aware of the risks that these habits present to your oral health. Tobacco use is directly correlated to several worrisome oral health conditions, such as gingivitis, leukoplakia, and oral cancer. The first signs of gingivitis caused by frequent tobacco use are swollen, red gums that become irritated easily or even bleed during brushings. Leukoplakia, on the other hand, is characterized by white patches on the gums as well as surrounding tissue such as the tongue or cheeks.
Leukoplakia is an especially alarming condition for dentists to discover in patients, since it can ultimately lead to oral cancer. If you are a frequent tobacco user and are concerned that you may have leukoplakia or are in the beginning stages of oral cancer, then it is essential that you meet with your Belmont Dental dentist as soon as possible. Take a look at this video to learn even more about why kicking your tobacco habit could help you improve your oral health.