Tobacco is a known risk factor for many chronic diseases. Tobacco is also a major oral health concern for your dentist as it is linked to oral cancer, development and worsening of periodontal disease, poor oral wound healing, dulled taste and smell, and tooth staining. According to the Center for Disease Control, 7 in 10 smokers want to quit. The benefits of quitting tobacco use are seen in a little as one week and reversal of risk factors for chronic diseases can almost fully reverse in 1-2 years.
Your dentist can help. Speak to your dentist about your tobacco use habits and together we can assess and formulate a quit strategy and discuss multiple forms of interventions that can increase your rate of success. Nicotine replacement therapy is the most commonly used form of adjunctive aid, and when used correctly, can assist in doubling your chances of quitting smoking. Other pharmacological strategies that can be prescribed by your Ontario dentist include buproprion (Zyban) and varenicline (Champix) which can add additional benefits to help you achieve your optimal outcome and can be started prior to quitting. While some people have replaced smoking with E-cigarettes, safety concerns do exist which can lead to poor healing and infection, so speak to your dentist about other habit replacement options.