Smoking and smokeless tobacco has a negative impact on your oral health. Smoking constricts the blood vessels in your mouth. Blood cells carry healing cells. Limiting blood flow limits healing to body – including the oral cavity. Certain dental procedures such as gum surgery, extractions, and implants, count on good wound healing for a positive outcome. Smoking also increases your risk for cancer – especially oral cancer.
Smokeless tobacco, also known as “snuff,” is ground tobacco that is placed between the gum and cheek. Smokeless tobacco contains more nicotine than cigarettes and contains 28 cancer causing agents.
During an oral cancer screening, the doctor or hygienist will check your lymph nodes, and all of the structures in your mouth. They are looking for any lumps or bumps that shouldn’t be there. Smoking and alcohol use increase your risk for oral cancer. Remember, if you notice a lump, bump, or a sore in your mouth that has been there for more than two weeks, see your dentist right away.