We all know that smoking is bad for our health, increasing our risk for heart disease and cancer. Smoking also impacts your oral health and poor oral health also can lead to heart disease and certain types of cancer. As an endodontist in Jupiter, I often see the effects of smoking on teeth and gums, and wish to offer up a few helpful tips that can improve your oral health.
1. Stop Smoking
Obviously, if you are a smoker, you’ve heard this statement from countless doctors and medical professionals and probably more than a few friends and family members. While you know that you should quit smoking, you also know just how difficult it can be to quit. In fact, the addiction to nicotine, is one of the most difficult addictions to break, but it also can save your life.
As an endodontist in Jupiter, I have a bit of advice. Don’t try to break this addiction alone. For some people, quitting cold turkey works just fine, but for most people, it doesn’t and that’s ok. Talk to your doctor, speak with a professional therapist and develop a plan to help you stop smoking. Maybe you can utilize helpful tools such as nicotine gum or even hypnotherapy to help you.
For some people, using electronic cigarettes and slowly reducing the amount of nicotine can be helpful. While there still is much research to be done regarding the safety of using e-cigarettes, these devices certainly don’t contain nearly the amount of toxins that tobacco products contain, and were invented specifically to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Again, before trying any options, talk to your doctor and discuss the healthiest possible ways for you to stop using cigarettes.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Teeth
Smokers are far more likely to suffer from cavities and gum disease, which puts them at high risk for procedures such as root canals and even tooth extraction. Smoking also suppresses the immune system, which can make a person a poor candidate for dental implants. So, you might lose a tooth, but not be able to utilize the best possible tooth replacement option.
Your endodontist in Jupiter knows that aside from quitting smoking, the best way to keep your dental health as strong as possible is to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing routine. You need to spend about five minutes, twice per day, brushing and flossing your teeth carefully. This can remove much of the bacteria that harms your teeth and gums. Also, be sure to rinse your mouth after eating every meal and after finishing every cigarette, as this also can help remove a bit of bacteria here and there.
3. Don’t Snack & Drink Between Meals
Because smokers are at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease, it is wise to limit your food and beverage consumption to the three basic meals of the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacking between meals or drinking coffee, tea or any other beverage (aside from water) just allows more bacteria and food particles and sugars to sit on your teeth and eat away at the enamel, not to mention building up around the gumline.
Rather than eating between meals, your endodontist in Jupiter, FL, recommends that you drink water only and perhaps chomp on some sugar-free gum. Staying hydrated and chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva production and this helps to wash some harmful bacteria out of your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum also can help you keep your mouth busy and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day.
4. Visit Your Endodontist In Jupiter
Because smokers are at higher risk for gum disease and cavities, it just makes sense for these individuals to book regular appointments with their endodontist in Jupiter, FL. We can ensure that each tooth is healthy as well as your gums and provide you with a professional cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar that has built up around your teeth and gumline.
An endodontist in Jupiter also is often the first person to notice signs of other health problems, such as oral cancers or even signs of diabetes. Your endodontist can help keep your mouth healthy, as well as your entire body. If you are a smoker, it is recommended that you visit you dentist and dental hygienist at least twice per year, and probably more. Scheduling visits every three to four months, can prevent a patient from needing costly procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions and extensive gum restoration procedures.