Most smokers are aware of the dangers and harms caused to the body due to cigarette smoke, some of which include premature aging/death, development of cancer, heart disease etc. Though the number of smokers have declined over the years, there are still over 43 million adults smoking today and smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. One topic that sometimes goes unnoticed when talking about the harm that nicotine takes on the body is dental health.Though many smokers notice the “cosmetic” aspect of what smoking does to your teeth such as discoloration or yellowing of the teeth, there are other signs of deteriorating dental health that can take a toll on your overall health, including one of the most important organs in your body, your heart. Your teeth is a direct pathway to your heart and your body and signs such as loss of teeth(s), bleeding gums, bad breath, discolored gums, loss of taste are things that should not go unnoticed. There is a significant amount of research that states that smoking increases the risk for gum disease and gum disease has been shown to increase the risk for having a heart attack, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, etc.
Along with that, a research study conducted at Tufts University in Boston found a relationship between smoking and tooth loss in both females and males. Males lost an average of 2.9 every 10 years whereas female lost 1.5 teeth for the same amount of time. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention smokers loose more teeth than non-smokers ( 20% vs 41.3% for smokers).
The good news is that not all is bad. Smokers can actually reverse the damages that cigarretes cause to the teeth just by quitting smoking, brushing their teeth and flossing regularly. There are several smoking cessation programs that are accepting smokers who want to quit smoking for good. In particular, there is a free smoking cessation program and research study in Dallas, Texas that is offering free help to quit smoking. If you or someone you care about wants to quit smoking make sure you tell them to call Quit Smoking Dallas at 214-768-7848 or complete the online survey to see if they are eligible to participate. The online screen can be filled by going to quitsmokingdallas.com