Oral Risks of Teen Tobacco Use

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Oral Risks of Teen Tobacco Use

Female smiling doctor breaking a cigarette, stop smoking and prevention concept

Did you realize that over nine in every 10 adult cigarette smokers began smoking as teens? Every single day, over 3,000 Americans under the age of 18 will try their first cigarette – not only is tobacco dangerous for multiple areas of your health, it can ruin the teeth and cause multiple major oral issues.

At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help. Let’s go over some of the major risks associated with cigarettes and tobacco, and why it’s vital to stay in your child’s ear at an early age about avoiding these kinds of habits.

Health Risks

Tobacco has been proven to harm the teeth in multiple ways, including the following: Oral cancer, bad breath, stained teeth or gums, periodontal disease, delayed healing after oral procedures, and damage to one’s ability to smell and taste things. As you can see, there is a wide range of mouth-related issues that can take place due to tobacco use – and that’s without even getting into all the other major overall health risks.

Vaporizers and E-Cigarettes

These days, the issues aren’t simply limited to cigarettes. Even back in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1.78 million middle and high school students claimed they had tried e-cigarettes – most claimed their reason for doing so was to try and fit in or appear cool.

Unfortunately, while these kinds of vaporizer products are marketed as “safe” alternatives to cigarettes, this is not the case. No amount or medium of tobacco consumption is ever considered safe, and teens who experiment with e-cigarettes are far more likely to try traditional cigarettes than those who do not.

Chewing Tobacco

Another possible avenue here is chewing tobacco or smokeless tobacco. Nearly 15 percent of high school teens use this product, which can lead to cancer, cavities, tooth abrasion, and bone degradation. Use of chewing tobacco has risen ever since 2000, but can be just as dangerous as the other types of tobacco use.

To learn more about the dangers of tobacco use for your teen, or to learn how a pediatric dentist can help, speak to the staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.