Right up there at the top of many lists of New Year’s resolutions, is “Stop smoking”. We all know the big health risks: heart disease, lung disease, cancer, early aging, not to mention social problems including expense and second-hand smoke issues. But hey, you’ve still got healthy gums and perfect teeth, right? According to the ADA, you might want to get ready to kiss them goodbye, too. Here’s why:
- Seventy-five percent of periodontitis in adults I caused by smoking and other tobacco products. If you smoke you are more likely to have receding gums. This conditions leaves the roots of your teeth exposed and causes sensitibity to heat and cold and extra susceptible to tooth decay.
- It affects the bones and soft tissues in your mouth where they attach to your teeth.
- Smoking also makes tartar build up more quickly on your teeth.
- Tobacco delays healing after you have a tooth extracted or have oral surgery.
- Using tobacco products also increases your risk for oral cancer.
- You probably already know it stains your teeth and causes bad breath.
So if you smoke, now is a good time to quit. Quitting will not only help keep your mouth healthy but will also help you stay healthier all around. Here are some quitting tips from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and others:
- Set a quit date. Make a quitting plan.
- Enlist support. Turn to family, friends, and coworkers.
- Join a support group. Check with your hospital, health insurer, or employer for information about such groups.
- See your family doctor to discuss smoking cessation. Ask what resources are available and whether medication to help you quit smoking is right for you. Ask about medication’s side effects.
- Join a stop-smoking program. You can find these at hospitals, work, or other places where people gather. Make sure the group leader has training in smoking cessation. The best programs involve counseling of two weeks or longer with four to seven counseling sessions or more.
It may well be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you will never hear anybody say they regret stopping smoking. We here at Apple Dental are routing for you!