The consequences of smoking on oral health are well known, but what are the benefits to stopping smoking? Research suggests that informing people about the diseases and costs associated with smoking does little to stop smokers from reaching for their cigarettes. Knowing what good can come from quitting, however, has been shown to be more encouraging. Read on to learn more and find your reason to quit!
Helps to Fight Off Gum Disease
Research has found that people with active gum disease who quit smoking experienced improvements within a year of quitting that were significant when compared against people who continued smoking - which just goes to show, it’s better late than never!
Quitting smoking reduces the production of bacteria which grows in the mouth and causes gingivitis and bad breath, as well as doing away with the lingering smell of stale smoke in your mouth!
Get Your Pearlies Back to White
Smoking stains your teeth, as the nicotine yellows when in contact with oxygen and brownish tar gets stuck in the spaces between and behind teeth. Although quitting smoking doesn’t reverse these effects, it makes it possible to properly benefit from a good teeth cleaning, after which it’s just about a bit of maintenance!
Brings Back Good Taste!
The chemical makeup of cigarette smoke dulls taste buds over time, decreasing the enjoyment of delicious foods. The good news is that taste buds heal quickly, and people report being able to taste better within the first week of quitting smoking!
Reducing the Risk of Cavities
Plaque and tartar flourish in smokers’ mouths, leading to a higher possibility of developing cavities. Quitting smoking leads to higher (and cleaner!) saliva production, which helps to battle the bacteria which causes tartar and plaque to form on the surface of your teeth.
Once you have made your decision to quit, make sure that you have it properly planned - failed quitting attempts often lead to longer periods of waiting before trying again, so it’s best to know what you’re doing before you actually quit!
- Pick a Quit Date
Work your way toward this by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day, and encouraging yourself to remember that from this date, no more smoke will pass your lips.
- Build a Support Network
Quitting alone is admirable, but incredibly difficult. Set up a support system so that you have someone to turn to in times of craving. This could be a friend of family member that’s quitting at the same time, an app, or even a healthcare professional dedicated to your quitting.
- Find Your Alternatives
If you find that you like smoking just for having something to hold, consider switching to something healthier - like carrot sticks! You can also keep your hands occupied with something not related to consumption, like knitting.
Learn more about how smoking and oral health are related in our previous blog!