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The Effects of Smoking on your Teeth

After an on off love hate relationship with smoking over most of my adult life, and some of my adolescence if you count the sneaky ones behind the bike shed, we have finally parted company, tobacco and I.
Two events triggered my final resolution. The first was a very sobering visit to the dentist. Who would have thought that smoking could make your teeth fall out? Certainly not me, but it can. Peridontitis develops when infection in the gum crevice and pockets slowly destroys the bone that supports the teeth and gums. Duration and severity of infection determines how much bone is lost. This destruction is irreversible and is aggravated by smoking. Interestingly the pattern of bone loss in smokers tends to be in the front of the mouth whereas in non-smokers bone loss more often affects the back teeth. Eventually with no bone to hold them in, the teeth begin to wobble and then fall or are taken out. Luckily due to an excellent dentist, who specialises in Peridonitis I have been plucked from the jaws of disaster, if not my actual disasterous jaws but I now have a painful daily routine to follow, if I want any chance of keeping my teeth.
We have all been subject to the Government’s attempts to make us stop and some of the adverts are very good, if extremely uncomfortable to watch. My second wake up call was the latest round of these adverts where the human cost to a family of losing a smoker is starkly played out with children at a father’s graveside. That made me think. How awful would I feel having to tell my family that I was going to die from a horrible illness or become a statistic of heart disease that I could have prevented?
The government are, to be fair, backing up their scare campaigns with solid help. Patches and chewing gum, lozenges and nasal sprays are all available on prescription, and there are clinics with group and one to one support, it’s never been easier to give up. I know, it’s easy to say, and in those dark nicotine deprived rages when you would sell your kidney for just one more fag, nothing that you have heard about advantages and disadvantages matters at all. But you can do it. I have and I used the chewing gum. Having something physically to put into my mouth when I wanted a cigarette helped me, but I know people who have succeeded with one or another of the whole gamut of aids available. Group support was not right for me, but it might be for you. I am already feeling immeasurable benefits, some unexpected. I have always liked to sing but through the years smoking had gradually robbed me of the puff needed and seemed also to have affected my voice. Although I am not likely to win any singing competitions, at least I can now sing along with the best of them without the accompanying wheeze! For what is available in your area visit your surgery and consult your doctor or practice nurse. This is a really big health initiative and you will get all the help you need both at the surgery and at groups held locally.
So give it another try; and if the obvious health benefits don’t tempt you, how about this financial fact: A smoker of 20 cigarettes per day will be 1500 better off each year!