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Smoking Risks and Oral Health
Tigard, OR

Cigarettes and Oral Health Risks, used to educate by Tigard dentist at Lisa Gitelson, DMD.Tobacco products, whether smoking or chewing, along with other variations including the use of smoking nicotine vapors or marijuana have been shown to contribute to poor oral health. Though our staff at Lisa Gitelson, DMD may provide medically factual information and guidance, we always refrain from personal judgment. For patients who choose to participate in smoking-related risks, we hope to see them regularly; this can help us remain informed on any developing issues.

What oral health-related issues can occur from smoking?

There are a variety of problems that can arise from smoking tobacco and marijuana, ranging from small to large. Issues we may discuss with a patient may include:

Teeth Staining

The staining or darkening of teeth is a common dental disorder that comes from smoking and chewing. Patients who smoke or chew tobacco or other nicotine products will often note that their teeth are darker in color, generally a brown stain. Patients who smoke marijuana will see staining, yellowing, or light-green on the surface of their teeth.

We can help whiten and brighten your teeth with professional teeth whitening or recommending the use of electric toothbrushes and over the counter products. Patients with severe staining may benefit from the placement of porcelain veneers.

Dry Mouth

Your saliva plays a natural function of keeping your mouth cleaner, it helps remove debris and participates in the creation of plaque. Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, means that the patient is at a much higher risk of developing caries and cavities. Both nicotine products and marijuana usage cause the mouth to produce less saliva. This decrease in saliva results in both bad breath and additionally increases your likelihood of developing tooth decay.

To avoid tooth decay when you have decreased saliva production, you need to consume water regularly. Additionally, you will want to avoid sugary foods and beverages. Sodas, energy drinks, and juice are all high in sugar, and without the natural defense to help wash the sugar away, you will need to avoid them.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an oral health problem for many adults, but the statistics are even higher among adults who intake nicotine products or marijuana. Between decreased saliva, and a numbing effect of the tissue from smoking, patients need to show caution in the health of their gum tissue. Chronic gum disease, known as periodontitis, is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.

Patients who smoke will need to demonstrate diligence in their home oral hygiene routine. Avoid sugar, drink plenty of water, brush, and floss twice a day. You will need to be extra cautious and diligent in your gum health and oral health.

Oral Cancer

The use of tobacco and other nicotine products plays a significant role in the development of oral cancer, and studies show marijuana also increases your odds of developing oral cancer. Nicotine invites carcinogens into the body, and the heat from smoking tobacco or marijuana causes gum tissue to lose their stippling and become fibrotic. This loss leads to mutations of the tissue on the cellular level.

There are genetic factors that can predispose a person to develop oral cancer, but statistics support the increase in odds when smoking. If marijuana is needed for medical reasons, opt for eating it instead. Smoking anything can be detrimental to your oral health.

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
M-W 7-5,

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD | | (503) 985-8945
14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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