Don’t smoke our your oral health – The damages of smoking and how to stop
We’re not telling you anything new by stating that smoking is harmful for your health. You’re probably reading this and thinking “Oh here we go again”. But no matter how many times people read the news or watch health shows on TV, the matter of fact is that a significant part of the population still has this habit. According to the Office for National Statistics, “14.7% of people aged 18 years and above smoked cigarettes in 2018” in the UK (latest data). However, it’s not all bad news – this number represents a decline on the amount of smokers in the last few years.
Let’s tackle the rest, shall we?
For many people, the initial scare is necessary, so before we tell you how we can help you, let us get on with the health facts – read this and tell us if you still want that post-lunch cigarette break!
Everyone wants a bright white smile. But smokers are a lot less likely to have nice looking teeth, since the nicotine and tar present in tobacco causes staining. After a while, your teeth can become completely yellow, and in extreme cases they can actually turn brown. It can also lead to leucoplakia (white or grey patches inside the mouth) and mouth cancer. Mix that with the bad breath caused by smoking, and chances are you won’t be getting a lot of kissing!
Besides the aesthetic effects, tobacco has very serious effects on your health. It increases the chances of gum disease, which can lead to loss of teeth. This happens because of the lack of oxygen in your bloodstream caused by smoking, which doesn’t let the gums heal, and the production of bacterial plaque. Even if you brush your teeth religiously, you won’t be able to reduce the effects of smoking by much.
Of course, we can’t forget the main cause of concern by doctors and smokers alike: cancer. It’s a known fact that smoking can cause several types of cancer, like throat, lung and mouth. This is no joke, and it should make you think twice before buying your next pack of cigarettes.
Now that we’ve scared you enough, it’s time to help you stop smoking and become a much healthier person! It can be a tough journey, but there are plenty of resources to make life a little easier for you.
One of the first things you can do is evaluate the role smoking has in your life. Are you a social smoker? Do you crave cigarettes when you’re stressed? Do you sometimes smoke just because you’re bored or don’t have anything to do with your hands? Reflecting on this will help you find ways to break those habits.
For example, if you find that you smoke when you’re stressed, try to remove yourself from some stressful situations in your life. We’re not telling you to skip work or other important commitments, of course, but when you find yourself stressed out by a situation that isn’t mandatory – maybe a party you don’t want to be at – think about going away or finding something that can distract you. If you’re a social smoker, look for events with a smoke free zone, and hang out with non-smoker friends. This will make it easier for you to enjoy yourself without thinking you’re missing out on something.
There are several free tools to help you quit smoking. A search through the App Store will show you many choices, like Smoke Free, Quit Now or Flamy. Just find the one that works the best for you, and stick with it! Meditation can also be a great help in your journey, and the app Calm is one of the best for that.
You can reach out through social media to other people who are quitting smoking. This is a great way of sharing tips and experiences, and you won’t feel so alone and overwhelmed. If you’re not a social media fan but are looking for someone to talk to about your struggle, look for phone helplines.
And of course, come and see your dentist and hygienist! They can help you during the whole process and fix any issues on your mouth brought by smoking. Maybe you need treatment on your gums, or teeth whitening. Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to contact Woodborough House and book an appointment!
When you quit smoking, you go through many phases, and it’s quite the task. But remember that it’s all for the best. You’ll feel a lot better, mentally and physically, and the people around you will definitely thank you for it.
What are you waiting for? Quit smoking now, and you’ll feel brand new!