Kick Your Smoking Habit and Improve Oral Health

1046564_88750920If you are a smoker, you probably know the effects that tobacco can have on your oral health, but the addictive properties make kicking the habit much easier said than done. May 31 was World No Tobacco Day, so why not take a day off from smoking to prove to yourself that you can go 24 hours without a cigarette and improve your bad breath from the habit? Long-time smokers can suffer from a number of ailments in the mouth, including gum disease and tooth decay. The chemicals and tar in cigarettes wreak havoc on the oral cavity, and it can lead to the development of oral cancers and precancers.

Research shows that smoking can have various negative effects on the mouth. Smoking can reduce the amount of blood that flows to the gums, so nutrients like vitamin C cannot reach these areas to help with healing any gum or oral health issues. Once the gums become separated from the teeth, bacteria can get caught in these deep pockets. This can lead to gum disease and tooth decay over time.

If you notice that your gums are separating or they are sensitive, swollen and bleed easily, you can benefit from taking oral probiotics to balance out the additional bacteria. Probiotics’ “good” bacteria have been receiving praise for their ability to get rid of their harmful counterparts. Oral probiotics can reduce the amount of bacteria that get trapped between the gums, improve your breath and more. Although the best way to avoid these symptoms is to quit smoking, taking daily probiotics can help you while you are trying to kick the habit.

Smoker’s breath
Smoking cigarettes is harmful in many ways, and while it’s certainly bad for your health, having smoker’s breath can put a damper on social situations. People who smoke cigarettes for an extended period of time often have bad breath, even if they haven’t smoked a cigarette in hours. Since smoking can cause dry mouth, you won’t have an appropriate amount of saliva to wash away the tobacco-y smell that lingers behind. Here are a few ways to get rid of smoker’s breath:

Sugar-free gum
Gum increases saliva flow in the mouth, so a sugar-free stick of gum can help wash away the stench left behind after smoking a cigarette. If you choose an all-natural variety, you won’t have to worry about the high levels of sugar that can actually make your breath worse.

Mouthwash
If you keep your mouth clean and fresh, you can get rid of smoker’s breath easily. Alcohol-free mouthwash is a perfect option, because it won’t dry your mouth out like traditional rinses that burn when you use them. After every cigarette, rinse your mouth with an all-natural product that washes away odor-causing bacteria.

Try this exercise
Have you ever seen someone take a puff of a cigarette and immediately let out a sigh of relief after exhaling? Many smokers say that the habit is a form of relaxation or stress relief. However, you can achieve that same sensation without the cigarette. This pattern of deep breathing is similar to what people practice during meditation, so it can be a great way to kick the habit. Whenever you have the urge to light up, go outside – or wherever you would normally smoke – and take several slow, deep breaths like you would with a cigarette in hand. While you’re not getting the nicotine that keeps you addicted, breathing deeply can help you get through your day of no smoking.

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