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Kick the Habit!

2018’s National No Smoking Day occurs this week, on Wednesday 14th March. Are you prepared? Reports over the last decade suggest that 1 in 10 smokers manage to quit on No Smoking Day. The UK campaign provides smokers with a sense of community support, along with all the information required to successfully drop the habit once and for all.

The very first No Smoking Day was held on Ash Wednesday in 1984. This annual health awareness day now takes place on the second Wednesday in March and focuses on a different angle or tagline each year. This year’s campaign is reinforced by a social media drive using the hashtag #tellusyourway, which seeks to encourage quitters to share with others their personal success stories and the winning way in which they achieved their goal.

The benefits of quitting smoking are well documented… but it is a positive process to remind yourself again of the benefits to ridding yourself of an expensive, controlling and life-threatening habit. Remember that smokers tend to suffer from increased plaque and tartar buildup, which leads to decay. Smokers, therefore, suffer from twice as many cases of tooth loss and infected roots. As smoking diminishes the body’s immune system, this makes it hard to fight back against infection. This means that smokers are up to 6 times more likely to develop gum disease and mouth cancers compared to non-smokers. Furthermore, did you know that smoking can actually mask symptoms of gum disease and prevent healing? As a smoker, you may feel like your teeth and gums are in good shape but this could simply be an illusion created by nicotine. The drug shuts down your blood vessels; over time the blood supply to your gums decreases. When you stop smoking, nicotine is no longer hitting your mouth, so with increased vascularity, you may find that your gums bleed more frequently for a while… but don’t panic! This simply means that your symptoms of inflammation are no longer being masked and steps can be taken to get your dental health back on the road to recovery.

No matter how long you’ve used tobacco products, quitting now can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and many other oral health problems. Over time, many of these health risks will diminish until they are almost at levels for non-smokers. Plus, once you quit, you’ll be delighted to hear that your body will find it easier and quicker to heal from infections or injury, and the effectiveness of any gum disease treatments will be increased. Your breath will smell far more fresh and pleasant, and you can begin work on returning your teeth to a less-stained appearance with the help of various teeth whitening treatments.

Your health should always be the main reason to quit. However, remind yourself of the added bonus benefit of having more money in your pocket – why don’t you save up all the money you would have spent on your smoking habit and treat yourself to something lovely? You’ll have earned it!