In just two days the American Cancer Association is having their annual Great American Smokeout and we think that’s a great time to talk about tobacco use and your oral health! We see a lot of patients at our Orlando dentist office who use tobacco in one form or another and helping those patients quit is something we take seriously!
In anticipation of this great opportunity to improve your health we wanted to talk about the risks associated with tobacco use and how you can make quitting easier. If you’re a tobacco user who’s concerned about their oral health you owe it to yourself to quit: your health, both oral and otherwise, could depend on it!
The Oral Health Risks Of Tobacco Use
If you’re a smoker you’ve probably been told about the risks to your health but you might not be familiar with tobacco’s effects on your oral health, which can be just as severe. Your teeth and gums can both suffer from your choice to smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe!
The most immediate oral health concern for smokers is the way that tobacco changes the bacterial balance of your mouth. Your mouth contains countless bacteria, some which are dangerous and others which don’t really harm you at all. Tobacco use actually kills the harmless bacteria and leaves the dangerous ones to spread and become dominate!
The harmful bacteria in your mouth is responsible for acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease and the more of them there are the greater your chances for oral health complications. That’s not the only potential harm of smoking, though – there are several other ways it causes problems for your teeth and gums!
Smoking is also linked to dental implant problems both during healing and after. Implant surgery is less successful in smokers and the possibility of peri-implant disease, a gum disease like condition that affects implants, is much higher.
The Great American Smokeout: Making Quitting Work
It’s just two days until some of America’s 42 million smokers make the commitment to quit and we hope you’ll be there along with them! While quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult there are a lot of things you can do to help make it easier, and at Overmeyer Family Dental we’re always willing to help in any way we can too!
- Don’t wean yourself off tobacco – quit cold turkey and don’t look back! Numerous studies have shown that smokers who choose to embrace a smoke-free life in one big moment are far more successful.
- Find a reason that’s truly yours: do you want to live to see your children grow up and have their own families? Are you worried about your health as you age? Maybe you’re just sick of spending all that money – it doesn’t matter why you decide to quit as long as it’s a reason that feels right for you.
- Don’t do it alone. That doesn’t mean you need to quit with a friend or support group but you do need to realize that you have friends and family who care about you – lean on them when things get tough. They want you to be healthy too!
- Distract yourself when you feel a craving coming on. You could have a healthy snack available to fight back against those worst moments of the day or you could just get up and take a walk! It’s important to distract yourself, especially early, when the need strikes.
- Reward yourself for staying quit – maybe a meal out with all that money you saved or a new pair of shoes. The bottom line is that quitting is tough and you deserve to treat yourself for accomplishing it!
We Can Help!
Our Orlando dentist office wants to help you quit and stay that way! We’d love to see you so we can evaluate your oral health, any risks that could complicate it, and establish a treatment plan to combat any damage that your tobacco use may have caused.
Whether you’ve quit, want to quit, or are planning on quitting don’t wait to find out about complications – we can get an accurate picture of your oral health at Overmeyer Family Dental! Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 407-603-3839 or request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!