Oral & Vision Health Blog

You and Your Cigarettes: Good Reasons to Break Up

People decide to quit smoking every day. Most people can come up with more than a few reasons for trying to quit. If you or someone you love smokes and needs yet another reason - think about your smile!

We all know smoking is bad for your overall health. It increases your risk of lung, bladder, throat, mouth, kidney, cervical, and pancreatic cancer. Smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases, as well as infertility, preterm birth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome. The list goes on and on! 

Negative effects on your oral health can be added to that list, too. And that what we want to focus on here. Potential dental problems caused by smoking can be debilitating to your oral health, overall health, and your self-confidence. Here are a few to think about: 

  • Bad breath
  • Plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Leukoplakia, or white patches on the tongue, inside of the cheek or on the floor of the mouth
  • Periodontitis, or Gun Disease, which can lead to tooth loss
  • Increased risk of oral cancer

And that's not all! Smoking can increase bone loss in the jaw, delay the healing process during certain procedures, and inflame the salivary glands on the roof of the mouth.

Here are some statistics to consider:

  •  20 minutes after you quit smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Weeks after you quit smoking, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • Months after you quit smoking, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. You start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean and reduce the risk of infection.
  • A year after you quit smoking, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically. 
  • Eventually, your risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, lungs and bladder are cut in half! Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker and your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.

Make your decision to break up with your cigarettes stick! Work with your doctor on options, and keep that commitment. Your mouth and the rest of your body will thank you! Speaking of your oral health - don't neglect your regular cleanings and exams. If you are worried about the cost, make sure you have a good dental insurance plan that works for you. Check out our FREE dental plan selection guide below! 

Which dental plan is right for you? Download our FREE guide!

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