Set No Tobacco Day on May 31 as Your Smoking “Quit Date” [BLOG]

Tooth Bonding

The World Health Organization observes No Tobacco Day on May 31, and this year’s theme is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

The 2017 campaign highlights the threats the tobacco industry poses to sustainable development in all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens, according to a WHO press release.

This year’s campaign proposes measures that governments and the public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.

We want every day to be No Tobacco Day, because we see the harm caused by using tobacco products in the mouths of patients daily.

Periodontal disease is one of the two major dental diseases (the other is cavities) that affect significant portions of the population worldwide, and tobacco use is a gum disease risk factor. Studies show that it may be among the most significant risk factors in developing gum disease, as well as in the disease’s progression, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

Smoking weakens the immune system, which makes it more difficult to prevent gum infection. Once gum damage exists, healing becomes more difficult if you smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some sad realizations for smokers from the CDC:

  • You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
  • The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
  • The longer you smoke, the more likely you are to get gum disease and experience tooth loss.
  • Outcomes of dental therapy including LANAP and dental implants may not be as successful.

It’s important to remember that it isn’t just cigarette smokers who are at greater risk of getting gum disease. The risk is greater for anyone who uses tobacco in any form – cigars, pipes, dips, and chewing tobacco included.

Did you list “quit smoking” as one of your New Year’s resolutions, but you’ve since fallen off the wagon? Don’t give up. A study published in BMJ Open in August 2016 found that people may try 30 times or more to quit smoking before they kick the habit. Don’t give up.

No Tobacco Day is a great time to hit the reset button and try again. One recommended method of quitting smoking is to set a quit date and write a “quit date contract” that you and a supportive witness sign. Why not make May 31 your quit date?

If you need help quitting, check out this Reader’s Digest article that outlines 23 of the best ways to kick the habit.

Our office also provides smoking cessation services to help you quit. Please call to learn more.

Meet Dr. D

Dr. David DiGiallorenzo received his training at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics and Periodontal Prosthesis in the early 1990s. His training included prosthodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, and advanced oral reconstructive techniques, including oral implantology.

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