A half century ago after much research, the U.S. Surgeon General announced what many had believed for a long time … smoking and tobacco use are hazardous to your health. Smoking has been banned in just about every public venue from airplanes to restaurants making the air we breathe much healthier. However, many people continue to smoke and others take it up daily. A discussion with the family dentist could provide a multitude of reasons to quit or never start including:
1. Smoking stains teeth and causes bad breath.
2. Gum disease and tooth loss are much more prevalent in people who use tobacco versus those who do not.
3. Mouth and throat cancer occur at a significantly higher rate due to tobacco use.
4. Sore throats, coughing, and mouth sores are more likely with smokers.
Your family dentist can provide assistance in kicking this habit once and for all through one of the many smoking cessation programs that have been developed. Some involve prescription drugs that help to curb the urge to smoke; other programs involve psychological therapy coupled with aids that work to reduce the need for nicotine.
Electronic cigarettes have been developed as an aid to quit smoking. These cigarettes help with the physical stimulation received by the mere action of smoking. Liquid vapors provide the sensation of “blowing smoke” with none of the hazardous side effects for innocent bystanders. A small amount of nicotine helps to satisfy heavy smokers, but this should be used as a tool to quit smoking, not as a substitute.
Research has linked overall health to dental health. Patients suffering from diseases affecting the body’s immune system such as diabetes or arthritis, or people who suffer from heart disease are considered prime candidates for dental diseases. And it has been proven that tobacco use contributes to heart and lung diseases. It is easy to see the connection between smoking and its impact on overall health as well as oral health.
Discontinuing tobacco will not restore dental health overnight; however, each day without smoking or chewing tobacco lessens the likelihood of developing oral cancer. Seeing your dentist on a consistent basis will keep plaque build-up and the incidence of decay at a minimum as these conditions, along with the symptoms of gum disease, will be monitored and caught before problems have a chance to escalate.
Talk with our experienced and caring team of dentists at Fielder Park Dental to learn how we can help you quick smoking and improve your dental health.