The Great American Smokeout is the third Thursday in November.
While the current percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes is the lowest it’s been in decades, those who continue the habit remain at risk for heart and lung disease. Additionally, while we know smoking is also bad for our oral health, most don’t understand just how bad it is…
More Than Just Stained Teeth
From its seemingly mild side effects (bad breath, tooth discoloration, buildup of plaque and tartar), to the more sinister ( increased risk of oral cancer, loss of bone within the jaw, gum disease and any number of resulting complications) – tobacco is indeed an oral health risk.
Tobacco can cause serious health issues by breaking down the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Because of this breakdown, the use of tobacco makes smokers much more susceptible to infection and disease. In fact, 90% of people who have cancer of the mouth, throat, or gums admit to using tobacco in some form.
Cigarettes, cigars and pipes aren’t the only culprits; smokeless tobacco can be just as detrimental to oral health, if not worse. In fact, there are twenty-eight chemicals found in chewing tobacco alone that are proven to chewing tobacco alone that are proven to increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, throat and esophagus. Chewing tobacco and snuff contain higher levels of nicotine than those found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, making it’s exposure to the roots, and ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to decay.
According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and has a negative impact on overall health. It is the leading case of cancer of several types, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, throat, mouth, and bladder cancers. It is also the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.
In addition to cancer, smoking contributes to and causes strokes, heart disease, macular degeneration, cataracts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is chronic bronchitis and emphysema, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Smoking makes other conditions worse or increase a person’s risk of developing them: pneumonia and other respiratory infections and asthma.
Smokers weakens the immune system and makes getting pregnant more difficult. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risks of birth defects, miscarriages, and g\premature babies and low birth weights. Smoking also puts non-smokes at risk of health problems by exposing them to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is now to cause lung cancer in non-smokers and also increase the risks of heart disease ad stroke. It also puts children at an increased risk for infections and asthma.
Click on the picture below for more information about the Great American Smokeout.
Help is Just Next Door
The only way to help eliminate these risks is to never start using tobacco products, or to quit if you do. In fact, simply reducing tobacco use is proven to help lower your risks. If you feel that it is time to reduce your risk of cancer, gum disease, infection and other oral complications, your dentist or doctor can help you create a plan to help you quit using tobacco, along with prescribing certain medicines or programs to help you kick the habit. Here at Baylee Dental we’ve shared programs with patients have helped make a difference in their lives, while helping protect their health at the same time.
Remember, it is never too late to quit. If you’re interested in getting help, let us know the next time you’re in for an appointment or call us now. 352-329-2333