Top Reasons to Quit Smoking for Oral Health
No one likes a quitter, except for when it comes to smoking! It is detrimental to your health in a number of ways, such as increasing your risk of cancer and lung disease. Then there are the oral health problems.
If you smoke and are experiencing problems with your teeth and gums, that may be the first visible sign that it is negatively affecting your health.
Are your gums red and swollen?
Are your gums tender or receding?
Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth?
If you answered yes to the above questions, these are symptoms of gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease and can lead to tooth loss. According to research, smokers are 50% more likely to develop gum disease.
If that’s not enough to scare you into kicking the habit, here’s some additional incentive to cut your smokes in half:
(1) Yellow teeth. Your smile is one of your best assets! You don’t want to hide it because you are embarrassed of the discoloration. Nice white teeth are also a sign of youthfulness and vigor.
(2) Smoking causes bad breath. Combine smokes with coffee, and it may not be too pleasant for someone to have a conversation with you. This can also be embarrassing and affect your confidence.
(3) Smoking weakens your immune system, which reduces your ability to fight infection, including your mouth and gums.
(4) Smokers are much more likely to develop cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat.
(5) Smokers can experience up to twice the tooth loss due to tartar and plaque buildup.
(6) It takes longer to heal from dental injuries or oral surgery.
(7) Your salivary gland openings on the roof of your mouth can become inflamed.
You may be thinking that you are too far gone for quitting to make a difference now. That’s not necessarily the case. If you quit now, you can significantly reduce your risk of problems down the road. Cutting back will also help, but ideally, you would want to quit.
And if you are thinking you may be ok because you only smoke cigars, pipes, or smokeless tobacco, that is not true. All of the risks from cigarette tobacco apply to these as well.
Talk to your dentist or physician for more information about quitting smoking today! Imagine how great your whole body would feel if you quit? Not to mention, you could be adding years onto your life. That would be the best gift that you could give yourself!