Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable illness and death in America. From emphysema and bronchitis to cancer and heart disease, 8.6 million people are living with a serious illness caused by smoking, a habit that wreaks havoc on the body. Those who smoke are also putting their oral health at risk. Tobacco in all its forms hits the mouth first, getting a head start on:

  • Causing bad breath, mouth sores and cavities
  • Dulling sense of taste and smell
  • Discoloring teeth
  • Increasing likelihood of gum disease and oral cancer

“As a dentist, I’ve seen what smoking can do to the mouth and have treated hundreds of patients for preventable complications to their oral health,” says Quinn Dufurrena, D.D.S., J.D., chief dental officer at United Concordia Dental. “What I’ve also seen is discernible improvement in patients who quit smoking. Patients who stop using tobacco can begin to improve their health right away.”

Within 48 hours of snuffing out the last cigarette, smokers who quit are able to see improvements in their breath and a return of their smell and taste senses. Sticking to it for more than a few months reduces the risk of oral cancer and gum disease, and can reverse some oral health complications.

If you or someone you care about smokes, the infographic below from United Concordia provides powerful motivation to quit, and help protect oral health and overall wellness.

United Concordia Oral Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking infographic