Smoking is one of the most harmful things that you can do to yourself. Smoking cigarettes is an addiction to the nicotine that they contain. It’s clearly not easy to give up but if it’s something that you want to do, this article contains some motivation on why it might be a good idea. We’ve also got some info at the end on how you can get help with quitting.
The damage caused by smoking
This is a website aimed at improving your dental health so let’s consider how smoking can damage your mouth and gums first. One of the worst things for your mouth is smoking. Smoking reduces the blood flow to the tissues of your mouth, making them more prone to infection. Your gums get less blood so your immune system cannot attack bacteria that may be present. This leave bacteria free to do what they jolly well like, often leading to gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss. In gum disease, bacteria cause inflammation below your gums. This damages the bone that supports your teeth, causing it to erode away slowly until there is not enough bone to support the teeth and they are lost.
But there can be far scarier consequences for your mouth than just tooth loss. Smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer. Chewing tobacco and other substances such as betel quid is also often associated with oral cancer. Oral cancer can start as a swelling or an ulcer that doesn’t go away. It will normally be painless and hard. If you have a swelling or ulcer within your mouth which does not go away within 10 days, you must go and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Smoking causes long term damage to your lungs and throat. This will often be irreversible, sapping your energy, making it hard to breathe and possibly leading to throat or lung cancer.
The benefits of quitting smoking
The great news is that if you can quit smoking, there are huge benefits!
You will be able to breathe more easily. Your lungs will function better and hold more air. This delivers more oxygen to your body, giving you more energy to do the things that you want to do.
You will glow with oxygen. When your lungs are finished with smoke, they can get on with delivering oxygen to every single part of you. Your skin will get more oxygen and shine with health.
You will smell better. The smell of stale smoke lurks all around smokers, even if they don’t smoke very much. Quitting completely will allow that smell to fade into memory. You will also smell better in another sense; your nose will start to work again and you will taste your food so much more.
Your breath will smell better and your teeth will be whiter. You will be able to smile with confidence. This can make a massive difference to how you feel about yourself. Being able to smile will make you less stressed and much more happy.
Finally, you will live longer. Smoking will often shorten an individual’s life by 10 years or more. And who wants that?
Stop smoking: It’s too hard on your own.
I know that smokers get a tough time. It is ultimately an addiction and it’s very easy for me to spout off about why you shouldn’t be smoking. It is far harder to quit. Please be aware of the impact of smoking on your oral health along with other aspects of your health.
If you are a smoker who wants to stop, you need to do it with the support of a group or a professional person. Your GP or dentist should be able to find you the right support for you.
Here’s a handy link to find out where your local stop smoking service is.