It’s past the point of preaching to the unconverted. You can’t make people do something they are not ready to do. So preaching doesn’t help, but raising general awareness still counts for a lot. On March 13th No Smoking Day takes place and dentists are being urged to encourage their patients to think about quitting. It is expected that more than a million smokers will make an attempt to give up the habit for good.
Most people know that smoking has been linked to causing heart disease and cancer but not as many people realise the degree to which smoking affects their oral health too. Here’s a list of known problems smokers encounter:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discolouration
- Increased build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Increased risk of developing gum disease
- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
Smoking presents a very real danger to the public’s overall health and No Smoking Day is an attempt to remind people of that and give them a collective chance to quit. The message behind this campaign is overwhelmingly positive, which should be refreshing to smokers! No “make-you-feel-sick” adverts or health warning stamps and shock pictures to put you off. It’s a choice that is up to the individual and should not be coerced by others.
No Smoking Day presents us with an opportunity to explain how stopping smoking can benefit the person. Within the first month of giving up an ex-smoker will begin to experience the following:
- Improved sense of smell
- Improved sense of taste
- More energy
- Whiter teeth
- Better breathing
- Fresher breath
- Younger looking skin
- Healthier sex life
- Lowered stress levels
- Saving money
The many dangers of tobacco (whether smoked or chewed) can vary but its link to gum or periodontal disease is indisputable. Once a smoker gets to a stage where they have gone past the point of no return it falls to people like us, dentistry professionals, who must try to help them rectify the situation.
No Smoking Day will hopefully help to raise awareness across the UK that if you are a smoker and you would like to quit this year, March 14th would be a good time to try as you won’t be alone. Try to avoid ending up in our chair for dental treatments needed because of a smoking habit. For more information about No Smoking Day go to http://www.nosmokingday.org.uk/ or for information on specific dental treatments please contact us.