As we approach 2015, many people begin to reflect on the previous year and look forward to improving aspects of their lives in the coming year. Quitting smoking is amongst the most popular of all New Year’s resolutions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7 out of 10 smokers in the U.S. want to quit. In addition, a newly released study points to the fact that 90 percent of dental providers speak to their patients about tobacco use on a regular basis. The majority of these dental providers were also found to offer assistance in their patients’ tobacco cessation.
Tobacco use threatens a wide variety of health factors. When it comes to oral health, the use of tobacco has a major impact on a person’s well-being and can eventually lead to death. The following are some of the scariest facts about tobacco and oral health:
- Those who smoke cigarettes are close to twice as likely to need root canal treatments
- Half of all smoking adults have gum disease
- Smoking leads to cavities, gum recession, and mouth pain, eventually even tooth loss
- Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers
- Treating gum disease is far more difficult for smokers as it limited the effectiveness of treatment
- Smoking hinders the growth of blood vessels
- Tobacco hurts the body’s ability to fight infection
- Cancers of the gums, cheek, and lining of the lips is linked to smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco or snuff)
- Nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals available today
Smoking not only causes cancer, but it causes bone loss, bad breath, mouth sores, stained teeth, shrinking gums, hairy tongue, a decreased sense of smell and taste, and many more negative effects. Has your dentist talked to you about your smoking problem? According to the recent studies, it is likely that your dental provider has done so. Please consider their warnings the next time you are sitting in the dentist chair, it could save your life.