While Enjoying The Summer Weather, Prepare Yourself For Dental Emergencies

By: Gen Wright


This summer, take the next step in a healthy lifestyle by quitting smoking. We are all aware of the consequences smoking has on our general health, but it can also significantly impact the health of your teeth and gums. By taking charge of your life this summer, quitting will help not only improve the health of your body, but your oral health as well. From discolored teeth to oral cancer-you should think twice about smoking. But if you currently smoke, quit now to further protect your overall and oral health.

Smoking can significantly affect your oral health by:
* Oral cancer
* Periodontal (gum) disease
* Delayed healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery
* Few options for some kinds of dental care
* Bad breath
* Stained teeth and tongue
* Diminished sense of taste and smell

Smoking and Oral Cancer

If lung cancer isn't scary enough, smoking can also lead to oral cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 28,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed annually. Oral cancer may occur on the mouth, lips, tongue, gums, salivary glands, and throat. It is important to take every precaution available to avoid oral cancer.

Signs of oral cancer include:
* Any sign of irritation, like tenderness, burning or a sore that will not heal
* Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips
* Development of a lump
* Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
* Any change in the way your teeth fit together

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to visit your dentist in Madison, WI for further diagnosis and treatment.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Smoking

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), smoking may be responsible for almost 75% of periodontal diseases among adults. The use of various tobacco products damages your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth-receding gums. A receding gum line exposes your tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas.

Some signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
* Red, swollen or tender gums
* Bleeding while brushing or flossing
* Gums that pull away from teeth
* Loose or separating teeth
* Pus between the gum and tooth
* Persistent bad breath
* A change in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites
* A change in the fit of dentures

Quit Now to Improve Your Oral Health

We all understand that quitting is not always easy. Coming in a wide range of forms-cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco-nicotine causes extreme addictions. However, once you quit you don't have to look back. Some reasons for quitting include:

* Lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke or cancer
* A smoke-free environment is healthier for everyone around you
* If your pregnant, your chances of having a healthy baby will improve
* Money spent on tobacco can be used on other things

If you quit now, you can increase your oral health as well as your overall health. Talk to your dentist in Madison for more information on how you can quit and better improve the health of your smile.

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Dr. Liberty Boucher, Madison, WI dentist, of Odana Hills Dental, offers personalized care for patients of all ages. She believes in providing the very best patient care in a relaxed and stress-free environment, including Madison crowns. Dr. Boucher combines the foremost science and treatments available to provide quality dental care.

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