Are you a smoker? If so, it's likely that you've heard many of the medical reasons why you should consider quitting. These include an increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, along with a host of other health problems that researchers seem to be constantly uncovering. While it's certainly not as dangerous as a heart attack or stroke, bad breath is another reason you should consider giving up this unfortunately habit.
Halitosis caused by tobacco smoke can be quite powerful, and while using alcohol-free mouthwash can help eliminate bad breath, it's certain to return the next time you light up. Along with causing some serious oral odor, cigarette smoking can do some real damage to your overall oral health, leading to dental issues that will exacerbate bad breath and put your teeth at risk.
Why dull your teeth?
Before we get into some of the more serious dental health issues associated with smoking, let's look at some of the cosmetic ones.
According to the American Dental Association, smoking may stain your teeth and tongue and make it more difficult to correct cosmetic dental issues. Furthermore, cigarettes may change the appearance of your mouth and face by altering the look of your skin. The Mayo Clinic states that after 10 years of smoking, your visage will likely have a noticeable increase in wrinkles, including around the mouth and eyes.
Also, smoking long enough will make your fingers yellow, just like your teeth. So when you put that cigarette up to your mouth, it's likely that people will be wondering if you're feeling ill because of all the yellow they'll see.
It's not just about appearance
Now that you know some of the ways that smoking can harm your teeth from the outside, it's time to understand how cigarettes attack your pearly whites from the inside as well. According to WebMD, smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This can affect how your teeth are attached to the bone and leave you more susceptible to infection and periodontal disease.
Advanced gum disease causes the soft tissue to bleed and teeth to become detached and fall out. So if you like your current set of chompers, you may want to consider quitting.
Also, if you think you're safe because you only smoke cigars, think again. Similarly to cigarettes, cigars still leave you vulnerable to oral and tongue cancer.
Time to quit
Hopefully, some of these facts are leaving you to consider giving up smoking once and for all. This is important, since WebMD states that the first step to quitting is to know why you want to give up the habit. Next, try slowly reducing the number of butts you smoke each day and switching to nicotine replacement products. Many people who try to give up cold turkey end up going back to smoking, which is why it's better to wean off of cigarettes.
Tell your friends and family that you're planning on quitting so that they know that you'll need support. Also, indulge in stress-relieving techniques, such as massage therapy and yoga, to help with the anxiety you'll feel for a few weeks after quitting.
Finally, if you're really struggling to give up the habit, ask your doctor or dentist about prescription medications that can help you quit smoking.