Smoking cigarettes often start out as a casual and fun thing to do but quickly turns into a dependent and unhealthy relationship. It was once considered edgy and cool to smoke cigarettes but people today are more aware of the dangers of smoking. Chewing tobacco and smoking is the quickest way of getting oral cancer. The effects of smoking on the teeth and gums are numerous, such as bad breath, discoloration of the teeth, increased plaque and tartar buildup on teeth.
Dental professionals link smoking to an increased risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Gum disease causes a gradual breakdown of the bone under the gums and generally leads to teeth loss. Though it is possible to replace lost teeth with dental implants or dentures, nothing can take the place of your natural teeth. In keeping with the changing times, smoking is no longer as socially acceptable and smokers often have to find hidden corners to have a puff. So once you decide to quit, what can you do to increase your chance of kicking nicotine addiction for good?
It requires a lot of will power, perseverance and dedication. If you know what is physiologically happening in your body when you try to quit smoking, you can conquer your cravings for a smoke. To quit, you must identify your trigger for wanting to smoke.
You should be proud after you finish your last cigarette but you may also feel a sense of panic after taking the first step to quitting.
When your first cravings begin after a few hours, take your mind off it by engaging in an activity, like taking a walk.
You will exhibit symptoms of nicotine withdrawal like irritability, fatigue, headaches, hunger pangs and troubled sleep.
Try to block your cravings by skipping your routine around smoking, like drinking your coffee or alcohol. Avoid drinking when you’re trying to quit. Change it up by drinking tea and keep healthy snacks, gum or peppermints on hand to keep your mouth busy so that you are not tempted to pick up a cigarette.
Generally by the third day, the worst cravings will subside and you can concentrate on quitting the habit for good. The first two weeks are the hardest and you can use all the support you get from friends and family. Check out techniques to help you stop smoking in different forums (KP.org Quit Smoking resources)
Your doctor can help you by prescribing Chantix or Wellbutrin to help tackle with mood swings while dealing with cravings for cigarettes
Pick up nicorette patches or gum to help you quit
Get in touch with Arizona Smokers Helpline at 1-800-55-66-222, for free services and medication to help you stop smoking. You can call ASHLine when you get a craving.
Find other ways of relaxing, instead of turning to tobacco as a way of relieving stress. Engage your mind and body by exercising, rewarding yourself with a massage, picking up a hobby, or even trying yoga and meditation.
When you decide to quit, deep clean your house, car, clothes, and bedding to get rid of the smell of smoke. Bin all your lighters, ashtrays, and any other smoking memorabilia.
While quitting nicotine addiction can be a daunting task, with the right support and plan you can do it easily! If your dental condition has suffered because of your smoking habit, do not fear as it is never too late to begin regular dental care. If you are not sure of the correct dental hygiene routine for you or if you need dental treatment for gum disease or missing teeth, then get in touch with us at Higley Park Dental. Even after years of neglect, we can help you get your beautiful smile back.