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World No Tobacco Day Takes Place May 31

By Pamela Li, in News, on April 3, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization, which is the perfect time for dental professionals to highlight the effects of smoking on dental health.

The theme for 2012 is tobacco industry interference, and the day will focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control because of the serious danger to public health.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction, which can result in physical and psychological dependency. While smoking affects every part of the body, it is particularly harmful to the mouth.

“Despite the health threat and the likelihood of developing cancer, people are just not motivated to quit anymore,” said Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa cosmetic dentistry specialist. “The main effects of smoking on the mouth are gum disease, oral cancer, tooth and denture stains, bad breath and tooth loss.”

The most serious issue for smokers is oral cancer, said the emergency dental care professional. According to the American Cancer Society, 90 percent of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat use tobacco, and the risk of developing these cancers increases with the amount smoked or chewed and the duration of the habit. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers.

Smoking can also cause periodontal disease or gum disease and is common in smokers. While the disease starts out with red, inflamed gums, it can lead to inflammation of the bone supporting the roots of your teeth and eventually result in bone and tooth loss.

Treatments for this disease are effective if it is caught early, but because tobacco can weaken the immune system and decrease blood flow, the healing process is slowed, as the Ottawa cosmetic dentists believe.

Many people often think smokeless tobacco products are safer and less harmful to their health, said the family dentist. But one can of snuff delivers more nicotine than more than 60 cigarettes, making it harder to quit. Smokeless tobacco contains around 28 chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus.

“The best way to protect your health and the health of your mouth is to quit smoking,” said the porcelain veneers provider. “I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but there are resources available to help you quit. Smokers are urged to get regular dental checkups and brush and floss at least twice daily to lessen their risk of developing mouth issues.”

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google, an orthodontics marketing company, is credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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