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Jason E. Wagle, DDS, MS

Mark A. Moxley, DDS

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Moxley Wagle Periodontics

825 South Hillside
Wichita, KS 67211-3099
Phone : 316-685-2731
Fax : 316-685-6946

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Summer is a Great Time to Quit Smoking to Prevent Gum Disease

Posted on 5/20/2015 by Dr. Wagle

A dentist breaking a cigarette at Moxley & Wagle Periodontics. Finally the weather is getting pleasant. This past winter has been one of the more frustrating in recent years. It seemed every two days there was more snow, keeping everyone cooped up inside. But now, the sun is shining and it's warmed up. Birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming. It's a great time of the year to get outside and enjoy life.

Everything is fresh and new. Speaking of fresh, is your mouth feeling fresh and new? Are you taking care of your oral health? If you smoke you are doing a tremendous amount of damage to your gums. But, here's the good news - it's almost summer and it is a great time to quit smoking.

Why is Summer a good time to Quit Smoking?

Just the thought of summer makes one think of being more active. What else do you think about in the summer? Do you think about fresh fruits and vegetables? Both of these things will increase your success in quitting smoking.

Having a more active lifestyle will make quitting easier. Playing sports or joining in any outdoor activity will keep your mind off reaching for that cigarette. Many times all it takes is a change in our daily routine to break a bad habit. If you always reach for a cigarette while you're sitting down to watch TV, get outside instead. It's pretty hard to light up if you're in the middle of a softball game or on the golf course.

Some people worry that gaining weight is a side effect of quitting smoking. That can be true, but summer also takes care of that. Summer brings with it an opportunity to eat healthier as fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant and reasonably priced. There is no more reaching for that cupcake; grab a slice of watermelon instead. And with all the extra activity you will be getting, those pounds will stay away.

Smokers often experience added stress when they try and stop smoking. Summer offers the perfect time to sit back and relax. I know many people feel like that cigarette will relax them, but actually the opposite is true. Smoking causes an interruption of transmission of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you relaxed and happy. Instead of having a cigarette to relax, try sitting in a recliner under a shade tree.

What does Smoking have to do with Gum Disease?

Now you know why summer is a great time to quit smoking. Did you know that smoking is harming your gums? Smoking is the major cause of gum disease in adults. Studies have shown that smoking appears to affect the flow of blood to the gums. Smoking also reduces the strength of your immune system. It's harder for your body to fight off the bacteria found in plaque on your teeth.

Any treatments done to repair damaged gums and teeth will not heal as well as someone who doesn't smoke. The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater the risk. The longer you have smoked, the greater the risk. All nicotine products have this effect; this means pipe smokers, cigar smokers, tobacco chewers and smokeless tobacco users are all putting their oral health at risk.

Are you convinced yet? There is always the warning on the side of a pack of cigarettes, "Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health." And it's true. Oral health will gradually return to normal after quitting smoking. Summer time is the best time to start a no smoking program. Even the Farmer's Almanac says there are dates in May, June and July that will be the best for stopping smoking. If it's in Farmer's Almanac, you can bet on it!

If you have any questions about your oral health as a result of your smoking habit, contact us at (316) 685-2731 today!

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