4 Reasons to Talk to Your Patients about Tobacco Use

Posted on by Jen McGuire | Category Periodontal Management, Total Health

Smokers, raise your hands. Wait, no one is willing to admit to smoking? According to the CDC, an estimated 45.3 million people, or 19.3% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes. And I’m guessing most of those people already know smoking isn’t good for them. So why should you talk to patients about something they already know? Most people also know that they should floss every day, but we still remind them at every visit. You never know when you’re going to break thru someone’s bad habits, or find the right message that resonates with that particular patient. So we keep trying because health and lives are at stake. Focus on the facts with patients (like the ones below) and you can keep conversations more educational than confrontational. Remember, if you don’t share this information with patients, who will?

  1. Smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease, according to a study published in Infection and Immunity.Say “YES” to helpful bacteria and “NO” to cigarettes!
  2. Tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease, which is linked to systemic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.Healthy bodies start with healthy gums!
  3. Early morning smoking increases risk of head/neck cancer, according to two studies in the journal Cancer.Skip the morning cigarette and enjoy an extra 5 minutes of sleep!
  4. Smoking has a negative effect on bone regeneration after periodontal treatment, according to a new study in the Journal of Periodontology.Quit smoking and avoid dentures!

If patients need resources to assist them in smoking cessation efforts, you can direct them to www.smokefree.gov.


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