Can quitting really help a lifelong smoker?
How smoking damages teeth
Why Should You Quit Smoking Today?
- Smoking makes you sick: Smoking increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, bronchitis, tooth decay and damages the mouth and teeth. Smokers are at greater risk of getting sick and infections because the nicotine in smoke weakens the immune system.
- Smoking robs you of valuable time: According to a study, smokers who quit before the age of 34 live ten years longer than lifelong smokers.
- Healthier and more attractive appearance: After quitting smoking, the discoloration of the teeth disappears, the skin becomes smoother and looks fresher, and the unpleasant smell from hair and clothing disappears.
- Improvement of fertility and potency: Smoking decreases fertility in women and men and decreases the chances of success for fertility treatments. Quitting smoking before and during pregnancy reduces the risk of pregnancy complications. Men who smoke are more likely to suffer from impotence than men who do not smoke
- More money to fulfill your own wishes: At a price of around 6.00 euros per cigarette packet, a smoker who smokes a packet of cigarettes a day spends more than 2,150 euros on smoking in one year. As a non-smoker, you automatically have 2,150 euros more per year to fulfill large or small wishes.
- Sense of smell and taste: Smokers perceive odors, but smell much worse than non-smokers. Only two days after the last cigarette does the sense of smell and taste come back. Food is also perceived differently. Smokers have to season much more in order to still be able to offer something to the degenerated taste buds.
- Smoking is nerve-wracking: Less stress hormone dopamine is released just 20 minutes after the last cigarette.
- Protect your family and children: Tobacco smoke is particularly stressful for children, as their bodies are still developing and their organs can quickly be seriously damaged. Set a good example and make it clear to your children from an early age that smoking has only negative consequences, especially for their teeth.
Yellow teeth from nicotine or tar
Smoking is the most common cause of yellow to brown teeth, which are by no means aesthetically pleasing. The reason for this is the pollutants contained in cigarettes. The smoke contains 4,800 different, sometimes highly toxic substances, such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide. They affect the health of the entire body and teeth. The toxic ingredients in cigarettes are deposited on the teeth and tongue and promote the constant increase in plaque on the teeth, which the smoker can hardly remove himself. Regular and thorough brushing of your teeth is also of little help if smoking remains part of everyday life. Professional cleaning of teeth and whitening are of little use if smoking is not stopped immediately after such treatment. If the smoker pursues his desire, the discoloration of the teeth will quickly come back. Toothpastes specially designated for smokers are not helpful either, as they do not bring any visible improvement and can also be harmful to the health of the teeth as the tooth enamel is attacked. If those affected continue to consume cigarettes constantly, the unsightly discoloration can hardly be counteracted. Smoking makes your teeth suffer.
Teeth more sensitive to pain from smoking
Smoking not only promotes yellow teeth, but also an increasing sensitivity to pain in the entire oral cavity. Nicotine consumption promotes periodontitis, delays healing processes in the oral cavity and increases the rate of inflammation of the gums. The nicotine contained in cigarettes causes receding gums, so that sensitive tooth necks are exposed sooner or later. The mouth and throat become particularly prone to inflammation, which can be painful and lead to bleeding in the gums. Furthermore, people who smoke suffer from tooth decay much more often than non-smokers.
Do smokers have tooth decay more often?
Caries is one of the most common human diseases. The more cigarettes are consumed, the higher the risk of the infectious disease of the teeth. It is caused by bacterial infestation that attacks the tooth enamel. One serious consequence is the destruction of the tooth tissue. If too much plaque builds up, bacteria settle there. Once they have established themselves, a firmly adhering biofilm, the plaque, is created. Bacteria convert sugar from leftover food into acid and attack teeth and tooth enamel. The discoloration of the teeth that is typical for smokers and the weakened immune system result in an increased accumulation of plaque and thus an increased susceptibility to tooth decay. Typical symptoms appear in the form of tooth stains and pain. Those affected are particularly sensitive to cold and warm food and often have to deal with unpleasant accumulations of pus in the area of the teeth, which is promoted by smoking.
Do people who smoke suffer from periodontal disease more often?
Gum inflammation, like tooth decay, is caused by bacteria in the mouth. In the worst case, such an inflammation can lead to periodontitis, which results in massive destruction of the entire periodontium. People who smoke are up to 15 times more likely to develop periodontitis than non-smokers. Normally, bacterial infestation can be contained with a daily and thorough oral hygiene. It is essential to brush your teeth every day after meals, to avoid foods containing sugar, to use dental floss to clean the interdental spaces and to use an antibacterial mouthwash that protects the gums. Inflammations remain short-term phenomena, which can be counteracted quickly in non-smokers. However, this is different for smokers. Since the toxic nicotine creates thick plaque, bacteria form acid that eats away at the tooth enamel. Nicotine can also get into the bloodstream via the mucous membranes and the lungs. As a result, the veins contract and blood circulation becomes more difficult. The defense system now has to lead its defense cells through narrowed veins and the defenses of the gums decrease. Gums with poor blood supply and a reduced immune system ultimately increase the risk of developing periodontitis. Furthermore, the serious inflammation of the gums is recognized later in people who smoke than in non-smokers, as their gums are often paler. Typical reddened gums, as a sign of periodontitis, are not clearly visible through smoking, and there is no bleeding gums due to the narrowed veins. The disease is recognized late and the consequences for teeth and gums are worse than for non-smokers.
Does smoking lead to loss of teeth?
If the inflammation of the gums is advanced, therapy for smokers turns out to be very difficult. Even if the inflammation of the gums initially appears to be contained, in most cases inflammation occurs again and again, which can ultimately lead to the loss of the teeth. If the patient wants to keep his teeth, experts strongly advise smokers with periodontal disease to stop smoking. The healing of the teeth holding apparatus is hindered because wounds in the mouth are not supplied with sufficient blood and the supply of nutrients and oxygen is too low. The fine arteries in the mouth quickly constrict with deposits. Thus, even periodontal gel or creams are no longer helpful. The jawbones and gums recede, the teeth become loose and, in the worst case, fall out. People who choose to quit smoking can reduce the risk of losing their teeth after a short period of time and ultimately reduce the risk of a person who has never smoked. This process can take up to ten years, but it is definitely worth it. What is certain is that those who smoke a lot will also lose their teeth sooner. In addition to the loss of teeth, periodontitis can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes mellitus.
Increased risk of cancer of the oral cavity and throat in smokers
Smoking not only damages the health of your teeth, it is also the main risk factor for mouth and throat cancer. The tobacco poisons act on the surface of the mucous membranes and thus lead to a change in genetic material and the development of cancer. Symptoms are mainly manifested by difficulty breathing and swallowing, nosebleeds, otitis media and headaches. Mouth and throat cancers that result from smoking, in most cases, produce open sores, growths and discolored areas in the mouth. They occur on the lips, on the roof of the mouth, on the edges of the floor of the mouth, on the tongue, the tonsils and in the back of the throat. If a patient is ill, therapy consists of surgery and radiation. Quitting smoking is the best option to reduce the risk of developing such a serious illness. Save yourself a long ordeal, which in the worst case scenario can be fatal, by quitting smoking.
How dangerous is passive smoking?
People who smoke not only harm their own health, but also put those around them at significant risk of becoming ill. In Germany alone, around 2150 people die every year from heart diseases caused by passive smokers and over 770 non-smokers die from strokes caused by passive smoking. We speak of passive smoking when tobacco smoke is inhaled from the room air by a non-smoker. The inhaled tobacco smoke contains the same toxic and carcinogenic substances as the smoke inhaled by the smoker. Thus, the risk of serious illnesses in passive smokers is in some cases just as high as in people who smoke actively. Passive smoking irritates the airways, leads to burning and tearing eyes as well as swelling and reddening of the mucous membranes, can cause asthma attacks, cause respiratory diseases and leads to breast cancer in young women. If women inhale tobacco smoke during pregnancy, children may be smaller and lighter in weight at birth. Children of smoking parents are more likely to suffer from acute and chronic respiratory diseases such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, and they are more likely to have otitis media than children of nonsmokers. Anyone who smokes is also damaging his family members and colleagues at the same time. If your own health is not very important to you as a smoker, the health of loved ones in the area should have top priority. Children in particular must be prevented from suffering the consequences of smoking through no fault of their own.
How can smokers protect themselves from dental diseases?
What can smokers do to protect their teeth? Quitting smoking is of course the best and healthiest alternative. Otherwise, smokers should take particularly good care of their teeth and, ideally, have their teeth professionally cleaned several times a year. The annual check-up for cancer screening is also very important in order to detect oral cancer in good time.
If the teeth are already so damaged that a denture is needed, a high financial contribution must be expected. In order to reduce these high co-payments, it is advisable to take out additional dental insurance. The DFV-ZahnSchutz Exklusiv 100 is an excellent choice. As the winner of 234 additional dental insurances tested by Stiftung Warentest Finanztest (05/2019), the high-performance dental tariff of the German Family Insurance received the absolute top rating VERY GOOD (0.5). Take precautions in good time to preserve your teeth.
Is it worth quitting smoking? What happens in the body
Smokers are generally well aware that they should give up deadly cigarettes today rather than tomorrow. Every cigarette shortens valuable life and massively destroys health. Of the more than 4,000 chemical substances contained in it, around 300 can make you sick. But whoever decides to quit smoking can still have a positive impact on life and health. The human body expresses its gratitude surprisingly quickly for giving up cigarettes. Physical fitness increases after just eight hours, blood pressure and heartbeat drop to the levels of a non-smoker and the toxic carbon monoxide in the bloodstream evaporates. Your sense of smell and taste improves significantly and your risk of heart attack decreases. The lungs recover and the risk of developing lung cancer is already halved after ten years. Fertility increases significantly in both men and women and within a few years the risk of cardiovascular disease and most types of cancer decreases. After five years, the risk of a stroke is as low as that of a non-smoker.
Checklist: 10 Tips To Quit Smoking?
- set the date: Decide on a day on which you will quit smoking and mark it in bold in your calendar!
- All or nothing: Don't even think about relapsing. Keep realizing that the decision to quit is a decision for life.
- Remove attractant: Before day X, arrange for the removal of all things that you associate with smoking, such as lighters and ashtrays, and avoid certain places in your apartment where you would otherwise have picked up a cigarette and declare them to be smoke-free zones.
- Change behavior patterns: Reconsider situations in which you habitually took up a cigarette, for example after getting up or eating, and find alternatives.
- Communicate plans: Do not keep your good intentions to yourself, but let everyone around you know that you are going to quit smoking. This will minimize the risk of a relapse and you will find support from those around you.
- avoid stress: Avoid situations that put you in a stressful state in which you would normally have picked up a cigarette, or look for a healthier alternative. For example, you can relax for a few minutes with a soothing tea or take a pleasant walk in the fresh air. The desire to smoke will pass quickly.
- to do sports: Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise distracts you from the need to smoke and improves your fitness.
- Professional tooth cleaning: Treat yourself to a professional teeth cleaning and keep your teeth shiny by not having to smoke again afterwards.
- Reward yourself: Those who persevere should reward themselves. Buy something that you've wanted for a long time but haven't indulged in, or do something. A weekend in a wellness hotel or a meal in a chic restaurant will do more for you than any cigarette.
- Protect your family: Make it clear to yourself again and again that by giving up smoking you are protecting not only yourself, but also those around you from damage to health.
All statements without guarantee.
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