- May 16, 2018
Perhaps you’ve quit 10 times and gone back 11, or maybe you’ve never worked up the courage to stop smoking.
Regardless, there’s no time like the present to kick this unhealthy habit, and World No Tobacco Day on May 31 is a great occasion to start the journey toward a smoke-free life. This year the event focuses on the link between tobacco and heart disease.
Oral Health Reasons to Quit
Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it more difficult for your body to fight off gum infections. If you already battle gum disease, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.
Smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as nonsmokers, but any type of tobacco use increases your likelihood of getting gum disease. Gum disease cannot be cured; only maintained.
The Gum Disease/Heart Disease Connection
Let’s say you’re a smoker who has been diagnosed with periodontal disease. Consider what that can mean for your heart. Multiple studies have identified a connection between gum disease and heart disease. The scientific community suspects the inflammation caused by gum disease may be responsible for the connection, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Heart Federation. Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to about 12 percent of all heart disease deaths, and tobacco use is second only to high blood pressure in causing cardiovascular disease.
Dr. David DiGiallorenzo and Dr. Henry Hsu have long recognized the important connections that exist between tobacco use, cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease, and as a result, many of the treatments and services offered at the Lanap & Implant Center of Pennsylvania consider not only your oral health, but your systemic health as well. Because they believe in a whole-body approach to oral health, they offer smoking cessation tools through treatments available at the practice’s Wellness Center, including acupuncture and reflexology.
Acupuncture can be used to combat cigarette cravings. It also helps stop jitters, makes you less irritable and restless as you curb the smoking habit, increases relaxation and helps detoxify the body.
Reflexology also may significantly reduce the irritability and anxiety that go along with kicking the nicotine withdrawal symptoms people experience when quitting smoking.
Tips for Quitting
Set yourself up for success on World No Tobacco Day with this helpful advice from SmokeFree.gov:
- Create a plan- Set a date (this one is easy!) and determine the reasons why you want to quit. Identify the things in life that trigger you to smoke, and tell your friends and family so that you have a good support system. More information on creating a plan is available here
- Get busy- Whether it’s exercise, going to a movie or doing crafts schedule lots of activities on quit day to keep your mind occupied and hopefully distracted from the desire to smoke.
- Avoid your triggers- Stay away from friends who are smokers and visit smoke-free places. Don’t be afraid to break out of your normal routine to avoid the occasions when you typically smoke.
- Think positively- A good attitude is helpful in winning the battle over quitting smoking. Celebrate when you’ve reached 24 hours of being smoke-free. You’ve earned it.
Call us today to help stop smoking once and for all. If you suffer from periodontal disease, we also can share information with you on how Drs. DiGiallorenzo and Hsu treat painlessly without cutting and suturing.