Tobacco use of any kind can be detrimental to overall and oral health, but for some reason in today’s popular culture, cigars have risen as a glamorous luxury promoted by celebrities, sports stars, clubs and even clothing stores. Cigar sales have continued their upward climb for over a decade now and what cigar connoisseurs may not realize is that cigars can be even more addictive and dangerous than smoking cigarettes. There’s nothing glamorous about a mouth and body damaged by tobacco use, so it’s important to know the facts before lighting up.
A growing habit for all ages
In the past, cigar smoking might have been a habit of older men, but today it’s becoming the habit of women and even teenagers. A study by the CDC found that 14% of high school students smoke cigars, and this may be an alarming discovery for parents. People who smoke cigars may believe they’re safer than cigarettes but in truth, cigars can have up 40 times as much tar and nicotine in them as there is in cigarettes.
Tobacco use and oral health
Dental professionals are at the forefront of protecting their patients from the damaging effects of tobacco use and addiction to nicotine that occurs from using cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and cigars. A dentist can screen for oral cancer in patients who use tobacco and suggest ways patients can find help quitting. Although cigars may be associated with upscale, wealthy people and seen as a sign of sophistication, they’re still harmful. When kids see adults smoking cigars and see that sense of superiority, they can feel the desire to try it themselves. People may think that smoking a cigar only occasionally is safe, but it still increases nicotine levels in the body that can lead to dependence. The tobacco carcinogens in cigars cause an increase in the risk of throat and mouth cancer just as cigarettes do.
Additional reasons to avoid cigars
Smoking cigars regularly or even only occasionally in a social setting may not seem like a big deal, but it is for overall and oral health. Regular cigar smokers may have chronic bad breath and suffer from badly stained teeth due to the tobacco and nicotine. Among men who smoke cigars, the cancer death rate is up to 40% higher than among non-smoking males. Undoubtedly, as cigar use continues to increase, additional alarming statistics will arise regarding women and teens smoking cigars.
If you use any tobacco products, it’s vital that you take good care of your oral health with proper oral hygiene and frequent visits to the dentist. Finding ways to quit tobacco use are even more beneficial to your overall and oral health. At Creative Dental, we want you to have a healthy smile and will work with you to address any oral health issues.