An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Feb. 24, 2022

Tobacco and Your Oral Health

By TRICARE Communications

There’s a great deal of scientific information that proves using tobacco products is seriously harmful to your health. Nicotine products can increase your risks for cancer of the throat, lungs, and stomach. Also, tobacco products can negatively impact your oral health in several ways.
 
“Tobacco use can lead to gum disease,” said Doug Elsesser, program analyst with the Defense Health Agency’s TRICARE Dental Program. “Smoking or chewing tobacco makes it tougher for your body to fight infection, including in the gums.”
 
The more you use tobacco in any form, the greater the risk of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And gum disease may require you to get deeper, more invasive teeth cleanings, or even surgery. The bacteria from gum disease can also worsen existing chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. 
 
Besides gum disease, smoking and smokeless tobacco can have several other negative effects on your oral health. According to the American Dental Association, tobacco use can also lead to:
  • Tooth staining
  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Gum tissue loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral lesions
  • Oral cancer
 
Knowing these facts, you may want to quit tobacco. Or you may want to help a friend or family member quit. Keep in mind, quitting tobacco can be hard, and it may take several attempts. You may also need some support and resources to help you stay quit and get your health back on track.
 
For information on TRICARE’s tobacco cessation services, you can check out the TRICARE Tobacco Cessation Program Fact Sheet. You can also review information about eligibility for covered services. These services include tobacco cessation products and counseling.
 
The Department of Defense’s tobacco education campaign, YouCanQuit2, also provides a wide range of tools to help you quit tobacco.
 
Remember, talk with your dentist if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums. And if you use tobacco products, try to quit this year.
Lt. Col. Paula Neemann, 15th Healthcare Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight commander, demonstrates several birth options, such as an intrauterine device, at the 15th MDG’s contraceptive clinic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 6, 2021. The contraceptive clinic opened June 7 to service beneficiaries and provide same-day procedures without a referral. (Photo: U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

Military Health System Offers a Variety of Contr...

News
Dec. 01, 2022

The Military Health System offers service members and their families contraceptive care services—including...
Read More
Woman on laptop

TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select: How to Decide

News
Dec. 01, 2022

Are you thinking about your health care options for 2023? TRICARE Open Season, which runs until Dec. 13, might...
Read More
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Candida Ferguson, a general surgeon at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, talks with a patient about colorectal cancer screening. The Defense Health Agency established new age recommendations for screenings. Regular screening with a stool test, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, beginning at age 45, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer and finding it early.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Age Decreases to 45

News
Nov. 25, 2022

Although the overall death rate from colorectal cancer has been on the decline in recent years, it remains the...
Read More
Health care provider reviews a notebook

Know the Difference: TRICARE Network Provider vs...

News
Nov. 22, 2022

Are you looking for a new doctor? Finding the right doctor is crucial to your overall health. Regular checkups...
Read More
Two service members stand with two children

Keeping Your DEERS Info Current

News
Nov. 17, 2022

TRICARE Open Season is the time to make changes to your TRICARE health care coverage for the upcoming year...
Read More
Blood Donor Eligibility Update

"Mad Cow" Blood Donor Ban Lifted

News
Nov. 17, 2022

A decades-old blood donor ban was recently lifted by the Food and Drug Administrationmad cow, potentially...
Read More
Staff assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton's OB-GYN clinic display a number of the instruments and devices associated with patient-centered care during the walk-in contraceptive clinic, an essential part of women's health services provided at NHB. The Defense Health Agency recently issued an Administrative Instruction for access to walk-in contraception services across the Military Health System, letting beneficiaries discuss and receive their preferred and medically appropriate care.

Walk-in Contraceptive Services Required at Hospi...

News
Nov. 15, 2022

The Defense Health Agency is expanding walk-in contraceptive care services to improve reproductive health...
Read More
Service member poses with her spouse

TRICARE Open Season is Here: Find Right TRICARE ...

News
Nov. 14, 2022

TRICARE Open Season begins today, Nov. 14. For most TRICARE beneficiaries, this is your chance to enroll in a...
Read More

Dec. 1, 2022

Military Health System Offers a Variety of Contraceptive Care Services

The Military Health System offers service members and their families contraceptive care services—including access to all forms of medical and surgical contraception—for men and women.

Dec. 1, 2022

TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select: How to Decide

Are you thinking about your health care options for 2023? TRICARE Open Season, which runs until Dec. 13, might be your only chance all year to make changes to your current health coverage or enroll in a TRICARE Prime option, including the US Family Health Plan, or TRICARE Select.

Nov. 25, 2022

Colorectal Cancer Screening Age Decreases to 45

Although the overall death rate from colorectal cancer has been on the decline in recent years, it remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There has also been an increase in colorectal cancer-related death for people younger than 55, and an increase in diagnosis in patients between the ages of 40-49 over the past decade, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Nov. 22, 2022

Know the Difference: TRICARE Network Provider vs. Non-Network Provider

Are you looking for a new doctor? Finding the right doctor is crucial to your overall health. Regular checkups are one of the best ways to screen for diseases and prevent future health problems. When searching for a doctor, you may come across the term “network provider” or “non-network provider.” Understanding these two provider types matters to you and your family.

Nov. 17, 2022

Keeping Your DEERS Info Current

TRICARE Open Season is the time to make changes to your TRICARE health care coverage for the upcoming year. But is your information still current in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)? If you’re unsure, now is a good time to check.

Nov. 17, 2022

"Mad Cow" Blood Donor Ban Lifted

A decades-old blood donor ban was recently lifted by the Food and Drug Administrationmad cow, potentially increasing the nation's blood supply by hundreds of thousands of donors each year.

Nov. 15, 2022

Walk-in Contraceptive Services Required at Hospitals and Clinics

The Defense Health Agency is expanding walk-in contraceptive care services to improve reproductive health services. These services include same-day access with no appointment or referral needed.

Nov. 14, 2022

TRICARE Open Season is Here: Find Right TRICARE Plan for You

TRICARE Open Season begins today, Nov. 14. For most TRICARE beneficiaries, this is your chance to enroll in a health plan or change health plans for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2023. You have until Tuesday, Dec. 13, to make those changes.

Nov. 9, 2022

What You Should Know About RSV: Symptoms, Prevention, Care

You may have heard of a virus called respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. TRICARE encourages you to be familiar with the signs of RSV and see your health care provider if you think you or a family member has RSV.

Nov. 7, 2022

Preview 2023 TRICARE Health Plan Costs

Every year, TRICARE costs may change based on the law, the federal cost of living adjustment, changes in the cost of health care services and prescription drugs, and other factors. Depending on your TRICARE plan, you may see changes to your costs, including enrollment fees, premiums, cost-shares, and copayments next year.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.