Smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, and long-term health problems. Using tobacco products such as cigarettes, vaping devices, cigars, and chewing tobacco can also be harmful to your oral health. Using tobacco products can lead to serious dental problems and make it more difficult to treat them.

Smoking and gum disease.

Smoking weakens your immune system. This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal. You have twice the risk for gum disease if you smoke, compared with a nonsmoker. The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease (Centers for Disease Control).

Tobacco and your teeth.

Daily use of tobacco products can stain your teeth. Nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco products can make your teeth yellow and dull.  A heavy smoker’s teeth can turn almost brown from many years of smoking. Also, the effect on bone and tooth structure can lead to tooth decay.

Tobacco use increases the risk of oral cancer.

Cancer that occurs inside the mouth, such as the throat, cheek, gums, or tongue is called oral cancer. Using tobacco products, smoked or chewed, exposes your mouth to toxins, which increases the risk for oral cancer and many other cancers (Johns Hopkins Medicine).

Be tobacco free and improve your oral and overall health.

Quitting tobacco use greatly reduces the risk of serious gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Over time, the risk of oral cancer and other health problems from tobacco use goes down. If you are ready to quit smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco, or are trying to help a friend or loved one quit, click on the links below. Become tobacco free for a healthy smile and a healthier you!

QUIT Tobacco Use Resources.

1-866-New-Lung (1-866-639-5864). FREE quit smoking and quit vaping services in Orange County.

Quit Smokeless Tobacco.  Follow the key steps to set a quit date and make a plan to quit using smokeless tobacco from the American Cancer Society.

Smoke Free Tools and Tips. Learn about the free support tools. Text messaging programs and apps, live online chat with a trained counselor and how to create a quit plan are some of the resources available. Find the best way to help you become smoke free from Smokfree.gov.

Tips from Former Smokers. Real stories from people affected by cigarette smoke. Some are former smokers and some have never smoked. Almost all of them are living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities.

Tobacco Cessation amid COVID-19 Pandemic: What Dental Providers Can Do in Practice NOW. A variety of tools to help dental professionals learn more about tobacco cessation and resources that can be downloaded and printed.

Dental and Health Care Services in Orange County.

Smile Habits OC.  Find quality medical and dental care in Orange County. Services are for persons who have Medi-Cal, other insurance, are uninsured or cannot afford care.

Orange County Health Referral Line. Get access to health and dental care services in Orange County. Call (800) 564-8448, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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