With many people using Stoptober as the push they need to stop smoking, we look at the effects smoking can have on your oral health.
Most people understand that smoking is bad for their health. However, many people do not realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, teeth and gums. In the long term smoking can cause tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and in severe cases mouth cancer.
The nicotine and tar present in cigarettes can cause your teeth to turn yellow very quickly and if you have been smoking for a number of years, they can turn brown. This can have a dramatic effect on your appearance and confidence.
Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
If you smoke you will have higher levels of bacteria present in your plaque, which if not removed can lead to gum disease. If you do develop gum disease, the lack of oxygen present in your bloodstream will prevent the gums from healing, nicotine also constricts the flow of blood. If you are a smoker, it is likely that any gum disease will progress quicker than for a non-smoker. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK.
Not only can smoking lead to lung and throat cancer, it is also one of the main causes of mouth cancer as well. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.
With all this in mind the team at The Essex Smile Centre have come up with their 5 top tips to help you quit
Tips for quitting
1. Set a date
Pick a date when you are going to stop and stick to it. Try to make sure that it is at a time when you are not trying to juggle too many other things. If it is a time of high stress you are much more likely to give in to temptation.
2. Think positive
This may not be the first time you have tried to quit smoking but that doesn’t mean it is not possible. Build on the experiences from when you have tried to quit before, what caused you to fail previously and what can you put in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
3. Keep it simple
Do not attempt too much at once. Many people try to diet as well as quitting smoking, this is a recipe for disaster. Try to concentrate on one thing or the other, it may take a bit longer but you are far more likely to succeed.
4. Get Moving
Exercise can help to cut cravings and may help your brain to produce positive hormones making it easier to stay strong. This can be a good thing to do if you are used to having a cigarette after meals, go for a walk instead and create a new habit to curb the cravings.
5. Remember Why
Before you stop, make a list of all the reasons that you want to quit smoking. If you find that you are wavering or think you might have a relapse, get the list out and read it. This will help you to focus on the positives of not smoking until the craving has passed.
Why not give yourself a pat on the back for quitting smoking and reward yourself with a little gift?
There are two good reasons for rewarding yourself:
You are congratulating yourself for doing well for making a start or reaching a personal quit smoking milestone. Well done!
You are practicing new or other ways of rewarding yourself. That smoking is no longer associated with ‘reward’, instead other things are.
Your quit smoking reward need not be big. Ideas include:
Buying a DVD or a CD
Buying some new clothes or shoes
Getting your hair cut
Buying something for a hobby
Eating something yummy
Putting money in a jar you would otherwise spend on smoking and watching it grow
If ever there was a great time to reward yourself, it’s when you quit smoking!
If you would like you Dental Health checked and advise on giving up smoking, do not hesitate to contact The Essex Smile Centre on 01268 742 333 to book an appointment.