Observed annually on May 31st, World No Tobacco Day is a World Health Organisation (WHO) sponsored day to participate in 24 hours of abstinence of tobacco use and consider the threat that tobacco products present.
For regular tobacco users, World No Tobacco Day can be the perfect opportunity to begin quitting their habit.
Not only is stopping right for your lungs and heart, at West Ryde Dental Clinic, we’d like to remind you that quitting tobacco also protects your dental health.
Unfortunately, tobacco is very addictive, and many tobacco users have a difficult time quitting.
Surveys show that many tobacco users need to quit more than once before their commitment to being tobacco-free finally sticks – some people quit up to 30 times before being successful!
If you are considering letting go of your tobacco habit, consider May 31 as the perfect day to begin quitting.
Here are a few ways tobacco consumption can harm your oral health.
Bad Breath. Bad breath (sometimes referred to as “smoker’s breath) can be caused by bacterial build-up supported by tobacco use, or it can come from the lingering smell of the smoke itself.
To permanently eliminate this odour, you should stop using tobacco products and World No Tobacco Day is a great day to start.
In the meantime, West Ryde Dental Clinic has treatments that can help!
Over time, your teeth and restorations become discoloured and dingy. Smoking tobacco can also lead to gums that look thickened and off-colour.
Gum Disease. Gum disease makes your gums swollen and red, eventually destroying the soft tissues and bones that hold teeth in place.
Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for gum disease, with smokers being six times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease.
The good news is; if you quit tobacco use, the risk of gum disease becomes about the same as that of a nonsmoker’s after about ten years.
Delayed Healing. Chemicals in tobacco decrease the flow of blood to oral tissues. Blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to your tissues while carrying away waste products.
This slows down the ability to heal and can complicate dental procedures such as tooth extractions and implants.
Oral Cancer. Tobacco use is a significant cause of oral cancer. Tobacco is full of carcinogens. When tobacco is smoked or chewed, your oral tissues are exposed to them.
Genetic damage may occur at the cellular level, resulting in oral cancer.
What About Chewing Tobacco?
Smokeless tobaccos have been demonstrated to cause lip, tongue, and mouth cancers. These products contain at least 28 chemicals known to cause cancer.
Other known health dangers include:
Risk for cancer of the esophagus, voice box, bladder and colon. Toxins in the gooey liquid created by chewing can be swallowed.
Increased risk of decay as sugar is regularly added to enhance the flavour of smokeless tobacco.
Tooth sensitivity and erosion due to grit and sand from smokeless tobacco grinding teeth down.
Kick The Tobacco Habit
No matter how long you have used tobacco products, quitting now can significantly decrease its risks to your health.
As previously mentioned, only a decade after quitting, former smokers’ likelihood of having periodontal disease was not substantially different from people who had never smoked, and some issues like reduced senses of smell and taste can begin to recede in only 48 hours after the last cigarette is smoked.
Even cutting back can help. One study discovered that smokers who cut their smoking habit back to less than half a pack daily had only three times the risk of developing gum disease compared to nonsmokers.
This was dramatically lower than the six times higher risk seen for those who smoked more than a pack and a half per day.
How To Quit
If you want to quit, your doctor or dentist might help you control cravings with medications, including patches and nicotine gum.
Smoking cessation support classes and groups are often used in partnership with medications.
World No Tobacco Day allows us to raise awareness of the health complications that come along with smoking, and it should give you extra incentive to quit.
Quitting can be challenging; but, by taking the right steps and visiting your West Ryde dentist regularly, you can take back control of your health.
The West Ryde Dental Clinic Advantage
At West Ryde Dental Clinic, our service and treatments are 100% personalised to your health, needs, and preferences.
Our dentists are highly skilled and accredited practitioners with graduate degrees from the University of Sydney.
Working with our dentists, the support staff at West Ryde Dental Clinic are dedicated and experienced, working hard to ensure that each visit with us is as pleasant as possible.
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We are located at Shop 20 West Ryde Marketplace, 14 Anthony Road in West Ryde.