Unless you live in a cave, you are aware of the dangers of smoking. But do you know how much tobacco use impacts your oral health? In addition to staining your teeth, causing bad breath, and increasing the build up of bacterial plaque, it affects your sense of smell and taste. It also greatly increases your risk for periodontal (gum) disease as it damages your gums causing recession and accelerated bone loss. Tobacco use slows healing after surgery; but more importantly, it greatly increases your risk for oral cancer. If not diagnosed early, oral cancer can progress rapidly and be deadly. These facts, taken from the American Dental Hygienist’s Association, will hopefully inspire tobacco users to cut down or even quit using it!