The Impact of Smoking on Your Oral Health – Make Oral Heath Month Your Time to Quit
The latest data shows that smoking has a number of adverse effects on your oral health. Many smokers are aware of the way that smoking impacts their lungs. But the habit’s impact on their teeth and gums has long been overlooked. Fortunately, new campaigns are bringing this important issue to light. Now is the ideal time for smokers to quit their habit as a way to mark Oral Health Month in Canada. This blog will highlight several ways smoking can impact your oral health.
Gum Disease Strongly Linked with Smoking
Gum disease is one of the leading risk factors associated with long-term smoking in Canadian adults. Smoking interferes with the normal function of the gum tissue cells to make smokers more susceptible to issues such as periodontal disease. Smoking impedes blood flow, smokers will experience limited gum wound healing compared with non-smokers. Below are several oral health conditions linked with smoking:
· Increased plaque
· Bad breath
· Increased loss of bone in the jaw
· Lower success rate for dental implants
· Increased risk of oral cancers
The Steps to Begin the Quitting Process
Smoking is a notoriously difficult habit to quit. We know this from the numerous studies conducted across Canada in recent years. However, this doesn’t mean quitting is impossible. We know now there are many effective methods for guiding dental health patients to reduce and quit the smoking of cigarettes. To improve your chances of quitting smoking, review the following steps:
· Talk to your dentist about developing a quitting strategy
Your dentist will likely be able to guide you on a customized approach to the treatment process. We know that not every strategy suits all smokers and so an individualized approach to the process can empower success.
· Reward yourself for achieving quitting goals
Addiction specialists believe that cigarettes trigger a risk-reward process in our brains that prevents us from taking the logical action and quitting. It’s important to block that risk-reward process by rewarding yourself for small steps in quitting. Get a friend’s help to ensure you stay on-track and make the reward something out of the ordinary.
· Try sugarless gum
One proven treatment solution to smoking addiction is the use of sugarless gum. While this approach is not 100% effective in all patients, it can help you begin the quitting process. It can make you less susceptible to cravings and give you the foundation to moving forward. You might also try drinking water when cravings hit, as this can temporarily block the cravings; often long enough for them to subside for a few hours.
By working alongside your dentist as well as your medical doctor… gaining a better understanding of your smoking addiction, you can join the millions across the country who are quitting the habit and improving their oral health. To discuss the impact smoking can have on your oral health, contact our office team today!
We are accepting new patients! Pickering Square Dental continues to grow and continues to accept new patients. If you are considering a new dentist for you and your family, we invite you to stop by to meet our team and take a tour of our office or to schedule an appointment.more