There are approximately 1.3 billion smokers in the world right now, and smoking is the second main source of deaths in adults. Nicotine is very addictive which makes it difficult for most smokers to stop even when their health starts to get affected.
The Scale of the Dilemma
Using tobacco affects almost every part of the body such as the lungs, mouth, esophagus, heart, kidneys and cervix. It also affects a person’s oral health. Smokers get oral cancers four times more than non-smokers. Using both alcohol and tobacco increases the percentage of getting oral diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) created the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) in 1998 to focus on issues about cigarette smoking. Their main purpose is to decrease the number of diseases and deaths caused by using tobacco. This initiative promotes the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
The WHO FCTC started the first public health treaty on March 1, 2003. It emphasized the role of health professionals in tobacco use. This was one of the most accepted treaties in the United Nations (UN).
Oral cancer affects the lips, tongue, inner cheek, and throat. The formation of white and red patches in the mouth is one of the symptoms. Another one is excessive bleeding. Experts treat it through radio therapy or chemotherapy.
Nicotine stomatitis, also called as smoker’s palate, is an infection of the duct openings. Red dots is a sign of this condition. Not using tobacco is a way of healing smoker’s palate. It is curable in 1-2 weeks.
Smoker’s Melanosis shows brown and black patches on the mouth area. The shapes of the patches are irregular. This is caused by cigarettes stimulating the melanocytes that makes melanin. This condition is not cancerous. It is treatable by quitting smoking.
Gingivitis results from gum infections. When bacteria gets under the gums, it leads to tartar formation. Symptoms include swollen gums and bleeding teeth. This is treated by taking medicines or surgery.
Smoking results in premature tooth loss. Tobacco usage affects the blood supply to the gums.
Halitosis is also called as bad breath or fetor oris. An unpleasant smell is present when one exhales. Smoking is one of the common causes of halitosis.
How to Stop Smoking
Determining the triggers of your smoking habit aids you to manage the situation. Writing them down helps you focus. Have a trusted friend or a support group. During the first few days after quitting is very difficult. You can talk to them whenever you feel depressed.
Consulting a dental health professional regularly is a way of taking care of your dental health. You can ask an award winning dentist if you have further questions about taking care of your teeth.
Whenever you are craving for a cigarette, put something in your mouth that you can chew on. Try a new hobby with non-smoking friends. You can reward yourself if you are successful in quitting. Remember that the best way of quitting is to have the will yourself.