Are you ready to take the plunge and quit smoking today? Our experts at Belle Meade Family Dentistry in Nashville are here to help encourage you with seven reasons why you should quit!
You are probably aware smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and gum disease, but did you know there are more oral health problems caused by smoking? Other issues that may arise include:
- A reduced ability to fight infection, including in the mouth and gums.
- Tooth loss and infected tooth roots – twice the rate of non-smokers – due to plaque and tartar buildup.
- Reduced effectiveness of gum disease treatments, which can help stop or delay tooth loss.
- A slow down of your body’s ability to heal from injury or surgery, including tooth extraction and oral surgery.
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth.
- An increased risk of developing cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 90% of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat use tobacco -- and the risk increases with the amount smoked or chewed and the duration of the habit.
- Yellow teeth. Studies show people consider a white smile an indicator of youthfulness – don’t let smoking age you!
The positive? No matter how long you’ve used tobacco products, quitting today can reduce your risk of developing these issues. In fact, many of these health risks will even diminish over time until they are almost at levels for non-smokers. It’s never too late to quit!
But what about pipes, cigars and smokeless tobacco…Do they carry the same risks? In short: YES! All the risks that apply to cigarettes apply to other tobacco products as well. Items like snuff and chewing tobacco contain chemicals that increase the risk of oral cancer and cancers of the throat and esophagus. Even smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing periodontal disease due to gum recession.
During your routine exam, our dentists at Belle Meade Family Dentistry will provide a comprehensive check-up to determine any health issues that may have come up due to smoking. Early intervention is key and regular dental appointments can literally save your life. If you haven't visited us recently, be sure to schedule a visit today!
For more information or to make an appointment, call Nashville’s own Belle Meade Family Dentistry at (615) 298-2030. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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