According to the American Dental Association, quitting smoking has been shown to improve oral health in several important ways. Perhaps most importantly, your teeth and gums may become healthier. If you’re trying to kick the habit, join your dentist in Austin as we share some ways quitting can help improve your overall health and oral health.
Why Is Smoking Bad For Oral Health?
Most people know that smoking is bad for overall health, but did you know that it can be detrimental to oral health, too? Smokers have an increased risk of developing some serious oral health issues, such as:
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Oral cancer
Can You Reverse The Effects Of Smoking?
If you’re a smoker, you may feel that there is no point in quitting, especially if you’ve been smoking for a long time. However, your dentist in Austin has good news. Once you stop smoking, the risk of developing gum disease or oral cancer drops to non-smoker levels. This may take some time, but it’s well worth the health benefits. Additionally, the American Cancer Society showcases additional benefits to quitting smoking at any age such as lowering the risk of cancer and extending your life by 10 years.
How to Stop Smoking
Quitting smoking can be very difficult as it’s a highly addictive habit. But don’t lose hope. There are a number of ways people have successfully quit. It’s important to note that not every tip will work for everyone. Keep an open mind and keep trying alternatives.
- Pick a Quit Date
Some smokers may try to stop smoking “cold turkey,” meaning that one day they just stop. While this can work for some people, it’s incredibly difficult. Instead, professionals recommend picking a quit date and working your way to that quit date by decreasing the number of cigarettes you have a day.
- Find a Support System
Quitting on your own can make the process even harder, so try getting a support system. This can be a family member, friend, or perhaps even a coworker. Talk to them about how they can best help you and in ways that you will find most supportive.
- Supplement with Something Healthy
A lot of smokers have trouble quitting because of the simple act of holding something in between their figures or puffing on something throughout the day. If you find this to be the case, try to find a healthy alternative. For example, snack on vegetables, chew sugarless gums, hold a pencil in between your fingers, or consider a nicotine replacement product.
It’s incredibly important that everyone visits their dentist in Austin at least twice a year, but this is even more important for smokers. Regular visits help keep teeth and gums healthy and are a great opportunity to check for any signs of oral cancer or other problems. Usually, when a dental problem is caught early, treatment is more successful and easier.