If you're planning on kicking your nicotine addiction, there's no better time than now to pay closer attention to your oral health. A recent study from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle worked to investigate whether telephone help lines used to encourage people trying to quit smoking could double as a method of oral hygiene counseling. Getting rid of smoker's breath and improving the overall health of your mouth is a great way to reward yourself - and family and friends - after you quit smoking.
Quitting and improving oral hygiene
According to Daily RX, researchers asked 455 people who called a tobacco quit line service, and 80 percent of those questioned did not meet basic daily recommendations of oral hygiene, according to the American Dental Association standards. In order to combat smoker's breath, which often lingers after one has quit, it's important to brush and floss twice a day, every day.
The researchers found that tobacco cessation and promoting oral health could be very beneficial to callers who are typically at risk for bad breath disease, tooth decay and gum disease. The callers were funded by insurance or the state, and many were interested in learning how to improve their oral health. Authors of the study believe that these results show that oral health promotion and tobacco cessation would make for a helpful combination for individuals trying to quit. Bad breath disease is often caused by tobacco use, and nearly half of insurance-funded callers and a majority of state-funded callers were welcoming to the notion of learning more about proper oral health techniques via the helpline.
Smoking and oral health
A research team from the Center for Health Data and Analysis at the Rhode Island Department of Health and Brown University School of Medicine looked at survey data from 2008 and 2010 conducted on 11,263 adults in Rhode Island. The surveys focused on sociodemographic information, such as income, employment, education and marital status. Researchers' goal was to find how many people suffered from loss of teeth from gum disease or tooth decay, and it was determined that smokers who were between 18 and 64 years old were three times more likely to have none of their original teeth.
"Smoking is an established risk factor for poor oral health. Cigarette smokers are more likely to have more missing teeth and to experience greater rates of tooth loss than nonsmokers," authors on the research team said.
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