Everyone has their vices, and while some are healthier than others, some side effects are often overlooked. While we know that coffee and red wine can stain our teeth, one major addiction worldwide has major implications on our dental and overall health.

Tobacco use is common among Americans, as well as other locations around the globe. Chronic smokers have many health concerns to contend to, but the risks they run range from the development of oral cancer to discolored teeth.

According to Dr. Thomas Kilgore, a professor or oral and maxillofacial surgery at Boston University's School of Dental Medicine, mouth cancer is the most serious issue that smokers face. "It's hard to say what percentage of people who smoke will get mouth cancer, but the death rate of those who do get it is high — between 40 and 50 percent of all cases, and that hasn't changed over the last few decades," he told Everyday Health.

This falls directly in line with the ideas of the American Cancer Society, who estimates that approximately 90 percent of people with oral cancer have used tobacco at some point in their lives. As a result, the risk of developing oral cancer for smokers is six times higher than those who have never smoked.

While smoking doesn't cause issues with your teeth directly, it does create issues with your gums, and is a leading cause of gum disease.

We can't necessarily stop your smoking habits, but at Upper Eastside Orthodontists we will help you correct any tooth or gum problems that may have developed and take preventative measures to keep your mouth healthy and functional. For more information on health and orthodontics, contact us today!

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