Every year on the third Thursday in November the American Cancer Society puts on the Great American Smokeout, which encourages smokers to try and quit once and for all. The team at our St. Joseph dental office can certainly get behind an event that promotes health! Which is why we’re covering a few reasons why quitting smoking, even if you’ve tried before, is a worthwhile goal.
Advanced research has shown smoking has been linked to an increased risk of infection, including gum disease. Gum disease can be a painful problem that may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Whenever your body undergoes trauma, whether that’s a major surgery or minor cut, it relies on a strong flow of healthy blood to heal. Smoking, however, restricts blood vessels and diminishes the amount of blood that moves throughout the system.
While oral cancer can occur in anyone, people who use tobacco are at a much greater risk. Oral cancer can affect the tongue, throat, cheeks, or any other area of the mouth. If caught early oral cancer can be successfully treated.
Tobacco products contain tar and nicotine. Both of these ingredients can stick to teeth, gums, and the tongue and are difficult to remove. Because of this, smokers and users of other forms of tobacco usually have discolored teeth and unpleasant breath.
This may not immediately seem like a huge concern, but to your dentist in St. Joseph, decreased saliva production could mean serious trouble. Saliva helps neutralize acids in the mouth and rinse away bacteria. Without it teeth are left exposed to the damaging elements and the likelihood of decay increases.
Due to several of the other reasons above, such as a drier mouth and a decreased ability to heal, smokers are more likely to suffer more tooth loss than non-smokers. Oftentimes smokers may lose their teeth earlier than their non-using counterparts.
If you’re unsure where to start the quest towards a smoke-free life, we welcome you to call our dental office in St. Joseph. We can work together to determine how quitting can benefit your oral and overall health and talk about ways you can try to quit.