January 15, 2021
Canada’s dental hygienists will mark National Non-Smoking Week (January 17–23) by urging all Canadians to stop tobacco use for better oral and overall health.
Tobacco use has long been recognized as a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and lung and oral cancers. But many Canadians may not realize that, because the harmful chemicals in tobacco
products pass through the oral cavity, their effects are seen first-hand by dental hygienists. “Tobacco use not only leads to staining of the teeth and bad breath, but it can also cause dry
mouth and mouth sores, and alter taste and smell, which can reduce overall quality of life,” explains Tiffany Ludwicki, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). “We
also know that nicotine—found in cigarettes, other tobacco products, and vaping devices—acts as a vasoconstrictor, reducing blood flow to the gums,” adds Ludwicki. “As a result, users of those products have an increased risk of gingival disease and tooth loss.”
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