Can a Dentist Help Me Quit Smoking?

Tobacco use, primarily through smoking, has adverse effects on the health. Smokers are particularly susceptible to oral cancer, periodontitis and other oral diseases. Studies have shown that 70 percent of all smokers wish to quit but get easily drawn back into the act by different factors. If you want to quit smoking, a dental health professional is distinctly qualified to help you with smoking cessation.

What smoking does to the mouth

Smoking causes damages the soft and hard tissues surrounding a healthy tooth. Smoking causes inflammation, contributes to the growth of pathogens responsible for periodontal diseases and limits gingival blood flow. Dentists and other dental professionals have campaigned actively over the years against tobacco use — some even conduct counseling sessions for patients.

How a dentist can help

Intervention or advice from a dental practitioner has long been proven to be effective in helping tobacco users quit. Their role is essential because tobacco use is the leading cause of avoidable deaths and diseases in the USA. Dentists treat conditions caused by smoking regularly, so patients are willing to trust the words of their dentist.

According to the American Cancer Society, up to 40 million people in the US smoke cigarettes and other means of smoking tobacco, including cigar, hookah and pipe. Smoking is detrimental — there is no healthy way to use tobacco.

That is not all …

Dentists have a better chance of helping patients handle their tobacco addiction. They are more likely to meet young adults in the initial stages of tobacco use, which presents an excellent chance to teach about the adverse effects of tobacco on oral health. Patients at office consultations are especially receptive to stoppage advice.

Dentists can provide counseling sessions for patients who wish to cease smoking. This could involve linking them up with help groups or specialized counseling programs in their vicinity. The counseling does not have to be handled by the dentist, but dental experts can learn efficient, nonjudgmental techniques (such as motivational interviewing) that could inspire behavioral changes.

What you can do

Give your dentist permission to initiate a discussion regarding your smoking habits. The aim is to allow you to explain your desires to quit and work together with the dental expert to create a practical solution. The essence of motivational interviews to not to create resentment by placing you on the defensive, but by collaborating with you to make you see the importance of quitting.

You may get helpful fact sheets, videos and handouts from the dentist., a website owned by the ADA, has valuable information on tobacco and oral health.

Bottom line

When dentists offer advice along with medications to cease smoking, they can successfully motivate smokers to make noteworthy attempts at quitting and contribute to stopping successfully. The dental office can be an immensely beneficial place for smoking cessation pharmacotherapy.

Knowing your dentist can help you quit smoking and the increased assurance of dentists in offering pharmacotherapy can assist patients to stop smoking and boost their oral health. If you are struggling with tobacco addiction, feel free to reach out to your dentist for help.

Request an appointment here: or call Lake Ridge Dental Care at (703) 651-1942 for an appointment in our Woodbridge office.

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