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05 / 10 / 2018

Stubbing It Out In ‘Stoptober’: Reasons to Give Up

Even if you have never smoked yourself, you will almost certainly know someone who does and likely who has tried to quit. For the very lucky few, this is straightforward. They make the decision to stop smoking and simply do just that. For the vast majority though, stopping smoking can be a very difficult thing to achieve.

To help those who wish to stop smoking, Public Health England runs a stop smoking campaign, aptly called ‘Stoptober’, due to the October month when it takes place. They offer a wide range of support and information on their website, and you can even download the Stoptober App to help you keep track of your progress.

Getting started

Making a decision to stop smoking is the first stage. It doesn’t have to be this month, if, for example, you have a particularly stressful few weeks ahead. If you can though, it is a good idea as there will be support readily available and you may also find that you are not the only person in your workplace, or group of friends, who are trying to quit at the same time. By joining forces, you may be able to support each other through the most challenging times.

Why stop smoking?

It wouldn’t be hard to write a book about why you should stop smoking. Fortunately, most people now understand the real risk to their health if they continue to do so. Virtually no one can be unaware of the heart and lung problems that are widely associated with this dangerous habit.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we too see the effects of smoking in some of our patients. These vary in degree of severity, sometimes depending on how many they smoke, and how long they have smoked for.

Some of the signs that a patient smokes include:

  • Discoloured teeth, often so badly that even a tooth whitening treatment will have little effect.
  • Halitosis – Smokers breath is not pleasant and also lingers on their clothes. More seriously though, halitosis can be caused by gum disease, worsened by smoking.
  • Gum disease – As mentioned above, this can cause bad breath. Worse still, it can eventually lead to tooth loss if not effectively treated before it becomes too serious.
  • Soreness and lesions of the soft tissue – Aside from any discomfort that this can cause, these are all potential indicators of oral cancers. We may refer you to your GP for further investigation.

The benefits of being an ex-smoker

Although it may be difficult to see whilst you are struggling to quit smoking, there are many many benefits to be had if you do succeed. These benefits obviously include better health, both general and oral, but you will also be much better off and may well find that you have enough money to treat yourself to a holiday or other treat, depending on your current smoking expenditure.

If you have children, you will find that you have more energy to spend time with them, taking part in physical activities instead of just watching. You are also more likely to live long enough to see them grow up and even see their children grow up too, with a little luck!

What we can do to help

Once you have successfully stopped smoking, there are a number of treatments that we offer at our Ipswich dental practice which not only help you to have a nicer looking smile, but in doing so, will add an extra reason why you won’t want to start again.

If you are an ex-smoker or plan to be very soon, these are some of the treatments that we offer to help:

Check up and hygienist appointment

Before we perform any cosmetic dental treatments, it is essential to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Even if you see a dentist regularly for a check-up, we strongly recommend that you see a hygienist too. If you have been a smoker, you will have been in a higher risk group for gum disease and will benefit from regular ‘scale and polish’ treatments to help restore your teeth and gums to health.

Teeth whitening

Although smoking can badly discolour your teeth, the extent of this will depend on how many and how often you smoke. Whilst heavier smokers may not be able to benefit from a teeth whitening procedure, it is certainly worth investigating this as a first option, due to the non-invasive nature of the treatment.

Dental veneers

Those ex-smokers whose teeth are very badly stained are more likely to benefit from porcelain veneers to have significantly whiter teeth. This is a more complex procedure, but the effects will last for ten years or so. It is a great way of restoring a smile that has been badly affected by cigarette, or pipe/cigar, smoke.

The team at the Lighthouse Dental Practice wish any of our patients who are attempting to stop smoking the best of luck in doing so. We are always here to answer any questions that you may have relating to smoking and your oral health.

If you would also like to learn more about how our cosmetic dental treatments can help you to have a nicer looking smile once you have stopped smoking, please call us on 01473 257 379 to arrange an appointment and we’ll be delighted to help.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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