If you are a smoker, you probably are accustomed to getting lectures from your doctor about quitting. Your dentist can weigh in with some compelling reasons to kick the habit, too.

Indeed the health risks of smoking extend to the mouth, as well.

To protect their oral health, patients who are interested in smoking cessation can partner with our Plano dentist, Dr. John M. Hucklebridge, to develop a plan to achieve that goal.

Smoking has a number of effects on oral health, with oral cancer being high on the list of concerns. The same substances that cause cancer in the lungs may be carcinogenic to the oral tissues, as well. According to the American Cancer Society, 90 percent of people who develop various cancers of the mouth and throat are tobacco users.

Gum disease is another problem often encountered by smokers. Smoking causes inflammation that compromises gum tissue. In addition to gum disease, smokers face an increased risk of bone and tooth loss associated with the condition.

Smoking is also correlated with increased buildup of plaque and tartar, as well as tooth decay.

Think you’re safe because you smoke a pipe or cigar rather than cigarettes? Think again. Any sort of smoking can increase your risk of developing oral diseases. So can smokeless tobacco use.

In addition to health problems, the negative effects of smoking extend to your smile’s appearance, too. Smoking is notorious for staining teeth and leaving tell-tale signs that you engage in the habit. Smokers are also known to have bad breath, a decidedly unattractive trait.

When you decide to quit smoking, you will need a plan. Very few people are able to go “cold turkey” without relapsing eventually. Your strategy should be tailored to your unique situation. For example, some people respond very well to a reward system. Others may find medications or nicotine gum to be helpful.

Patients who smoke should consider the oral health benefits on the long list of reasons to quit.