Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, so it comes with no surprise that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are harmful to your oral health as well. For one, tobacco products can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning…
Other possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products include:
- stained teeth and tongue
- dulled sense of taste and smell
- slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
- difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
- gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease)
- oral cancer
As a Dental Hygienist, I am excited when I hear that one of my patients is trying to quit or has already quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these oral health and other tobacco-related health problems. It is amazing the difference that I can see in my patients who are former smokers. Their breath smells better, there is less staining, and their gums bleed less. These improvements can and have been seen in just a matter of months!
The addictive quality of nicotine can make quitting especially difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a support network. Be held accountable and tell people to help you stick to your plan. Write down your reasons for quitting and post it around the house and at work if you need daily reminders. Not one person is the same, and therefore not everyone will use the same plan when trying to quit tobacco. Find what works for you. Exercising, chewing gum and keeping yourself busy can help you quit. You can also talk to your doctor to see if the medications available would help you to stop using tobacco.
Bottom line: Being tobacco-free is healthier for you and for those around you. Make a plan to quit, stick to it and start living a healthier life.
For more information and free resources on how to quit, visit Smokefree.gov.
Dr. David Lunt and team are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being. Contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website.
Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and surrounding areas.