A Visit to the Dentist May Save You!

A Visit to the Dentist May Save Your Life!
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, and the number one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  It is estimated that, a t this time, about 46.5 million adults use tobacco, and more than 8.6 million have at least one serious illness caused by smoking.  If this rate continues, 6.4 million people currently younger than 18 will die prematurely from a tobacc0-related disease. 

In the oral cavity, tobacco use is responsible for about 75% of all cancers. Ergo, smokers have 6 times the risk for oral cancer as nonsmokers.  Smoking while pregnant is linked to cleft palate and cleft lip.  Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely develop cavities in their primary teeth.  Recent studies also show smokers have a high risk for root canals. 

In addition, smoking is a key risk factor for periodontal disease.  Smokers are 4 times more likely than persons who have never smoked to have periodontal disease.   Smokers are also more likely to have recurrence after treatment. 

Statistics show that about 30% of patients are current smokers.  Over 70% of smokers say they are "interested" in quitting, but only 10-20% plan to quit in the next mont h.  About 46% of smokers try to quit in a given year; however, self-quitters have a success rate of 5-10%.  It may take the average person 8 attempts to quit. Interestingly, over 43 million people have quit smoking, so it can be done. 

What works for one patient to help them quit may not work for another.  Therefore, an effective tobacco cessation program must offer flexibility and appeal to many "smoking styles."  Each person needs to find a plan that works best. 

There are many pharmacotherapies now available, and many have been shown to significantly improve quitting rates.  Fewer than 1 in 20 smokers can quit without help; with help, the success rate rises to roughly 1 in 5.  The goal of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is to replace nicotine from cigarettes in order to reduce or eliminate physical withdrawal symptoms. 

As dental professionals, we have a unique opportunity to help people break the smoking habit.  Call our office today, at (586)-573-4042, so that we can design a personalized smoking cessation program for you, to help you enjoy the immediate and long-term benefits of quitting smoking.


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