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Smokers Beware

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Gone are the sixties when smoking was the thing to do while socialising. Today it is quite the opposite; smokers often times have to excuse themselves to go for a smoke. For those diehard addicts who already know the reasons why they should quit, here are a few more.

The damage done to your smile becomes quite evident within a few months of smoking. Your teeth and tongue become stained; early signs of periodontal (gum) disease become evident and if not treated can lead to recession; sensitivity to hot and cold; mobile teeth and eventually tooth loss. And if that is not enough of a deterrent, smokers have a greater risk of developing oral cancer than do non-smokers.{{more}} Bad breath, diminished taste and smell and delayed healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery are a few other threats that smoking places on your oral health.

Here are a few tips to help kick the habit as adapted from the American Dental Association:

• Develop a list of your personal reasons for quitting.

• Set a date in the near future and stick to it.

• Exercise. It may make you feel better about yourself and your decision to quit smoking.

• Choose a low stress period to quit.

• Quit all at once – cold turkey.

• Do not keep cigarettes or matches nearby; it will be an easy temptation.

• Chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth occupied.

• Try all available resources, including audiotapes, books, pamphlets and other self-help materials to successfully quit smoking.

Don’t be discouraged if there are setbacks, keep trying. Your health – oral and physical – depends on it.

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