Smoking and other tobacco products can lead to advanced gum disease and multitude of oral health problems. Generally, gum disease is treatable, but without quitting smoking first, it’s almost impossible to treat. In fact, half of gum disease in smokers is caused by smoking. So, if this affects you or someone you know, we’re here to help.
Before we share tips to quit smoking, it’s also important to know that tobacco products can also increase the speed of which gum disease advances. So, if you smoke, your dental issues can worsen at an alarming rate. When an individual smokes, it creates deep gum pockets and advanced bone loss when compared to nonsmokers. Without early treatment, the severity of disease will develop in a shorter amount of time.
Other issues include: increased risk of oral cancer, bad breath, stained teeth (tooth discoloration), inflammation, plaque and tartar build up, bone jaw loss, tongue discoloration, white patches in mouth (leukoplakia), tooth loss, slower healing times, dulled sense of taste and smell and difficulties with correcting cosmetic dental problems.
There are many ways to quit smoking, and sometimes it takes trial and error to see which method you can stick with. So, as you make the commitment to kick the habit, here are some ways that may work for you:
- Cold Turkey
Many individuals have great success with going “cold turkey” with no medication, no outside therapy and quitting smoking on their own. However, if it doesn’t work for you, there are still other options that can help.
- Nicotine replacement
With many nicotine replacement options available, including patches, gyms, sprays and lozenges, this may be a reasonable method to first quit smoking, then quit nicotine next.
Working with your doctor, there are prescription medications that can help curb withdrawal symptoms to make quitting smoking easier. You can schedule an appointment with your doctor for more information.
- Behavioral Therapy
Working on emotional triggers to cope with cravings is another effective method to quit smoking. This involves working closely with a licensed therapist.
- Working with your Dentist
Your dentist’s office is a good place to turn for help. Schedule an appointment to find out more about quitting assistance. Once there, you can ask for more information on the dangers that tobacco has on your oral health.
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