Friday, March 27, 2015

Effects of Smoking on Teeth & Tips for Quitting

By now everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is very harmful to your health. When you think of health risks and smoking, lung cancer is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But did you know that smoking actually harms nearly every single organ of the body?

Your mouth, gums and teeth are no exception.

Smoking cigarettes or using smokeless tobacco has the following nasty effects on your oral health:

  • Periodontal Disease
  • Increased Risk of Oral Cancer
  • Tooth Decay
  • Tooth Loss
  • Stained Teeth
  • Bad Breath
  • Diminished Sense of Taste
  • Periodontal Disease

Aside from damaging your teeth, gums, and vital organs, cigarette smoking also reduces the effectiveness of your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to getting sick more often. This is why so many employers are starting to offer free or reduced cost prescription medication to help their employees quit smoking. Healthy employees are more likely to perform better and will likely miss fewer days of work.

Smoking is also becoming a less socially accepted habit, with more and more states banning smoking inside public buildings or anywhere near the entrances to those buildings. We're even seeing fewer smokers in film and television, as the habit is not considered as posh or sophisticated as it was back in the 1920s through the 1950s.

While there's no better time to quit than now, consider setting a date to kick the cigarette habit. That will give you a little time to get used to the idea of not smoking anymore. You may even want to take that time to prepare yourself by gradually cutting back more and more, eventually leading up to the "quit day."

Here are a few more tips for quitting smoking you may find helpful...

  • Talk to your doctor about prescription medications designed to help you quit. Remember to take any prescriptions only as directed by your doctor.

  • Tell your friends and family that you're quitting smoking. They will more than likely be very supportive and that support can make a huge difference.

  • Carry gum, mints, floss or disposable toothbrushes with you to help replace the habit of smoking with a different, healthier oral habit.

  • To cope with the stress of quitting, try finding time whenever you can to do something that makes you feel relaxed. Meditating, going for a walk in the park, fishing, knitting, and playing with your pets are all good things to try. 

  • Don't beat yourself up if you experience a setback or relapse. Simply pick a date and start over. 

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