November 20 will mark the American Cancer Society’s next Great American Smokeout. This is the day the society pinpoints for smokers to quit the habit. In this post, we’ll seek to help the society’s goal by taking a look at Jacksonville’s smoking statistics and also highlighting three of the most harmful effects smoking causes for your teeth, mouth, and gums.
Jacksonville’s Smoking Habit
Florida sunshine. Plenty of parks and out door activities. You’d think Jacksonville would be a healthy and fit city. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. According to the American Fitness Index (www.americanfitnessindex.org), our metropolitan area ranks 30th. And while this is an improvement over the 2013, when we ranked 37th, we still have a long way to go.
One of the main reasons why Jacksonville ranks so low is the number of smokers. According to the report, 20.6% of the metropolitan area smokes. This is a large percentage, especially compared to Washington DC (the fitness leader) at 13.2% and San Diego (the smoking percentage leader) at 9.5%.
The Effects of Smoking on Teeth
Beyond the damage caused to lungs, the heart, a person’s blood, and the throat, smoking also causes immediate and long-lasting damage to teeth and gums. Take a look at 3 of the highest risks:
- Gum Disease: Smoking and other tobacco products interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums – which may affect wound healing.
- Oral Cancer: Studies have shown a definitive link between the use of tobacco products and the development of oral cancer. One study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, found that more than eight out of ten oral cancer patients were smokers.
- Teeth Staining: Tar and nicotine leave yellow stains on teeth. Over time, the discoloration can seep into the small cracks and fissures in the teeth and become almost permanent.
For More Information
Our office has the tools and tips necessary to help you kick the smoking habit. We can tell you if your smoking is adversely affecting your teeth and offer some guidance on programs and products that have helped others kick the habit in the past. We also provide state-of-the-art oral cancer screening, which is a key preventative measure for smokers over the age of 40. So contact our office and schedule an appointment. Together, we can make Jacksonville a healthier city.