Thinking about giving up cigarettes? If you’ve tried before without success, you may feel unsure about whether you can quit for good. You may also wonder why it’s so important to quit. Start by learning about the health risks of smoking.
While most people are aware of the impact tobacco use has on their overall health, some might not consider its effects on oral health:
- Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers.
- Smoking leads to reduced effectiveness of treatment for gum disease.
- Smoking increases risk of mouth pain, cavities and gum recession.
- Tobacco reduces the body’s ability to fight infection, including in the mouth and gums.
- Smoking also limits the growth of blood vessels, slowing the healing of gum tissue after oral surgery or from injury.
- Cigarette smokers are nearly twice as likely to need a root canal.
- 50 percent of smoking adults have gum (periodontal) disease.
- Smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) is associated with cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips.
- Cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff and unprocessed tobacco leaves contain tiny particles that are abrasive to teeth.
The good news is that the risk of gum disease, tooth loss and many other oral health problems decreases after you quit smoking and using tobacco.
If you are ready to start a healthier life and give up cigarettes, consult your physician for the best plan for you.
We know, giving up smoking isn’t easy! BUT, many people have succeeded in quitting. Soon after you stop smoking, you may notice that food tastes better, your sense of smell is more acute and you can be more active without getting tired. And you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re keeping your mouth — and your entire body — healthy, which will benefit you and your loved ones.
For more information on your oral health, visit DeltaDentalMN.org.