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Chewing Tobacco, Tooth Decay, and Abscesses

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Tobacco comes in a variety of forms, the most talked about of which is smoking. However chewing tobacco can be a serious health risk, especially in the way it can damage a person's teeth. Chewing tobacco can lead to a dangerous chain reaction that puts a person's oral health at risk.

Chewing Tobacco Causes Tooth Decay

For some people, chewing tobacco seems like a healthy way to quit smoking or a relatively harmless habit. This is a serious mistake. It can cause a variety of serious health problems, particularly issues with teeth. For example, regularly chewing tobacco will cause teeth to get stained and can even cause damage to the enamel which can lead to cavities.

These small cavities can be fixed with fillings and other oral health treatments. That said, continually chewing tobacco will also cause an increase in cavities that can be hard to fix. It can even start attacking the gum at the teeth line and lead to what is known as a tooth abscess.

Abscessed Teeth Can Also Result

When tooth decay is left unchecked, there is a chance that an abscess can occur. This is a situation in which a tooth is infected by bacteria. This bacteria is typically not a serious situation, though it can cause toothaches, a bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, painful chewing, swollen gums, and lymph nodes swelling in the neck. 

If an infection is left alone and untreated, it can spread throughout the jaw and cause tooth loss. It can also attack the jaw bones and even the blood. This causes breathing problems and heart disease. Chewing tobacco will only increase this risk, which is why oral surgery may be necessary.

Managing The Problem

First of all, it is important to quit chewing tobacco immediately. Cold turkey is possible here, though cessation aids and support groups are available. After quitting, it is important to clean the teeth regularly and even use whitening gels to remove stains. If tooth decay has occurred or an abscess grown to a serious problem, it is then necessary to get oral surgery.

Oral surgery for abscessed teeth requires opening up the sight of the cavity and draining it of the infection. This is typically an in-patient procedure and may even require removing the offending tooth. Dental implants may be necessary in this instance in order to preserve the shape of the face.

For more information about oral surgery due to an abscess, talk to a dentist like those at Renovo Endodontic Studio.