April 14th, 2017
Tobacco is bad for our bodies, and we know this. But sometimes, even though we know that something is bad for us, it can be difficult to quit the habit. Unfortunately, a nicotine addiction is very difficult to overcome. Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” Health issues involving tobacco are numerous, and there is the obviously prevalent link with certain cancers, but it’s also responsible for the hardening of blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack, and certain lung disorders and diseases. Oral health impacts are oral cancer, stained and yellowed teeth, a dull sense of taste and smell, and even gum disease (tobacco use can create pockets near teeth where bacteria can seep down below the gum line, possibly causing gingivitis).
If you are trying to quit using tobacco, here are a few tips. First, substitute your tobacco use with something different, give yourself something new to focus on. Oftentimes tobacco is used frequently as a way of coping with stress, which feels like a double-edged sword in trying to quit it, when quitting tobacco is so very stressful on the body and the mind. Try activities like exercise to take your mind from the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. Exercise is obviously a broad term, and very commonly used, but it’s commonly used for a reason: exercise is good for the body, and it’s a well-known stress reliever.
Also, make sure that you tell your friends or family about your plans to quit. Quitting can make you irritable, especially the first week when the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are working on your body. Also, having a support group of people who care about you and your health can be a huge advantage. If you don’t have a support group, or would just like some extra assistance, the Montana Tobacco Quit line offers free support, and can be found at the following web address: https://montana.quitlogix.org .
If you are concerned about the impact of tobacco on your dental health, schedule an appointment at Brewer Dental for a checkup or an oral cancer screening.