When you consider the effects, smoking has on your health, the first things that come to mind are the risks of lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. But few people are aware of the link between smoking and your oral health. Smoking can lead to teeth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
Smoking is currently one of the leading causes of preventable deaths within the UK. So, whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars or another alternative, there really is no healthy level of tobacco exposure. Each year millions of people use the help and support provided by the Stoptober health campaign to quit smoking for good.
If you are considering making this year the year you quit for good, The Smile Centre looks at 5 top tips to help you quit.
- Focus on your reason
It may be to protect your family from second-hand smoke, reduce your chances of developing lung cancer, save money or to improve your appearance and health. Make sure that whatever the reason, it is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.
- Put support in place
Smoking is an addiction and like any addiction you are going to need support to help you quit. The brain is hooked on nicotine, so without it you will go into withdrawal. Your doctor will be able to advise you on stop smoking groups, medication, counselling, hypnosis and apps.
- Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you stop smoking nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood and drain your energy. The craving for just one smoke can be tough, Nicotine Replacement therapy can help to take the edge of your cravings. Studies have shown that nicotine gum, lozenges and patches can help to dramatically increase your chance of succeeding.
- Take advantage of family and friends
Tell your family and friends that you are trying to quit. They will be able to provide you with support and encourage you to keep going if you are tempted to light up.
- Clean, Clean, Clean
Once you decide to quit get rid of all your cigarettes, lighters and ash trays. Also try to remove anything that smells of smoke. This may mean washing clothes that smell of smoke, cleaning carpets and upholstery and cleaning the car. If you can get rid of the familiar smell of smoke and anything that reminds you of smoking, it can make it much easier to quit.