If your smoking habits are reflective of Mad Men’s Don Draper, it might be time to join the 21st century! Years of research have shown us how bad smoking is for our health. Unfortunately for Don Draper, the stigma of smoking was not as prevalent in society as it is today.
It’s not just your family that wants you to quit. Your dentist wants you to quit, too. Here’s why:
1. Your risk for oral cancer will decrease. Tobacco use is the number-one risk factor for oral cancer in people over age 50, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. This includes all types of tobacco — cigarettes, pipes, cigars or smokeless tobacco. The oral cancer risk further increases for people who use both tobacco and alcohol. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that more than 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, resulting in more than 8,000 deaths.
2. You will be less likely to have gum disease. Gum disease starts with the spread of bacteria in your mouth. You can have one of two types of gum disease — gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is the less severe form of gum disease and involves only the gums. Periodontitis is a more serious disease and attacks the tissue and gum below the teeth. Healthy gums are pink and firm. Unhealthy gums bleed easily, are swollen and may result in pockets that allow bacteria to form between your teeth and gums.
3. Your breath will invite kisses. Who wants to lock lips with a smoker? Stop smoking, and you’ll trade your ashtray mouth for one that’s sweet — like you!