Oral Health Impacts Of Smoking Cigarettes
According to the American Dental Association, smoking leads to stained teeth, bad breath, a diminished sense of taste and smell, a weakened immune system, and many more complex health issues. Smoking regularly can even cause your body to take longer to recover from surgery.
Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease, which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and bone deterioration. Smoking can also cause your gums to recede with affects both the look and health of your smile. The use of tobacco products also increases your risk of oral cancer.
At Atlanta West Dentistry in Marietta, GA, we can help make quitting a real possibility, no matter how long you’ve been smoking. Upon quitting, you’ll find that both your body and your smile will thank you almost immediately.
What Happens To Your Oral Health When You Quit Smoking?
When you give up smoking, immediately and over time you’ll experience a decrease in your risk of gum disease. It takes just 20 minutes for your heart rate to return to almost normal. Within the first two hours, your blood pressure and circulation improve and the teeth-yellowing effect of cigarettes stops.
After 12 hours without a cigarette, the carbon monoxide levels in your body decrease significantly.
Within just 48 hours of giving up your last cigarette, you’ll already notice an improvement in your breath and your senses of smell and taste.
After about three days, nicotine disappears from your body and after 12 days, your withdrawal symptoms should ease up and become much easier to control.
In most cases, after about three months, the darkening of your gums known as smoker’s melanosis will disappear completely.
Within just a few months, you’ll see a dramatic reduction in your risk of oral cancer and gum disease, as well as an improvement in many oral health complications.
Five years after your quit smoking, your risk of oral cancer is cut in half.
Tips To Make Quitting Smoking Easier
There’s more good news! There’s a shocking amount of resources available to make it easier for you to quit smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives five tips for making it easier to quit smoking. Their five steps are:
- Prepare yourself by setting a quitting date.
- Reach out to friends and family for support, as well as your dentist, doctor, and counselor.
- Try behavioral distractions when you feel the urge to smoke, such as brushing your teeth or chewing gum.
- Don’t be afraid to try medications – both prescription and over the counter – as long as you speak with your doctor first. Also, be sure to use the medications as directed.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you experience a setback. Prepare for these instances and reach out for some help to overcome hard times or relapses.
Another great trick many former smokers swear by is to clean house. Even if you only ever smoke outside, there’s a good chance your house, your car, and many of your belongings smell like cigarette smoke. It can be beneficial to clean out your car and use an air freshener to help get rid of the smell.
When it comes to cleaning your house, a thorough carpet cleaning, fabric cleaner, and several loads of laundry should take care of most of the stench! If the smell is strong, it may take some time to go away but once you give up the habit, the smell will improve over time.
Kick The Habit To The Curb! We’re Here To Help
When you’re ready to quit smoking, we’re here to give you all the resources and support we can to make the process easier for you. Why not get started by having your teeth professionally cleaned? With a smile so radiant, the last thing you’ll want to do is dirty it up again by smoking a cigarette, right?