Smoking can be harmful to many parts of your body, including your teeth. It increases the likelihood of tooth discoloration, cavities, and oral cancer, among other things, so it’s no surprise that quitting smoking can improve oral health. If you currently smoke but are interested in quitting, let your dentist in Chapel Hill help you learn how you can start improving your oral health the minute you put out that last cigarette.
Why Should You Quit Smoking?
If you smoke, you’re probably all too aware of your oral health. Smokers tend to get bad breath and discolored teeth due to tobacco stains. But smoking affects more than just your smile. Cigarette smoke is responsible for some serious health issues, including oral cancer and gum disease. When you quit smoking, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all worries go away. If you want your teeth to look (and smell) their best once you kick tobacco for good, be sure to check out these facts.
What Smoking Does To Oral Health
Smoking can be an incredibly hard habit to quit. But the benefits of all the hard work that goes into quitting are well worth it. Cigarette smoke contains high levels of nicotine, tar, and chemicals that can stain teeth. Eventually, all these substances become trapped in plaque deposits on your teeth. If left untreated for a long period of time, cigarette-related stains can cause further damage to gum tissue leading to gum disease, tooth loss, and even oral cancer. However, if you talk with your dentist in Chapel Hill about quitting, you’ll find out that there are ways to improve your dental health in the process.
What Happens To Teeth When You Quit Smoking?
The health of your teeth and overall mouth can improve once you quit smoking, but it depends on a few things, such as your current oral health status and if you have any pre-existing dental issues. For most smokers, quitting comes with some level of initial bad breath and potential periodontal (gum) disease. For most people though, these symptoms of smoking cessation do get better over time. However, for some people, things may initially seem worse before they get better. It’s important to communicate with your dentist in Chapel Hill about your smoking status and if you’re trying to quit. They may be able to help reduce any oral health side effects.
Quitting Reduces Risk
Stopping smoking reduces your risk of several health problems such as cancer and other diseases. In fact, just one to two years after quitting, the risk of heart attack drops dramatically. Additionally, quitting smoking can reduce the chances of developing oral cancer or gum disease and can reduce discoloration and the likelihood of suffering tooth loss.
Quitting can be hard, but the American Cancer Society has several tools to help. The third Thursday each November is celebrated at the Great American Smokeout and is a great time to start a plan to kick the habit once and for all.