Research institutes have proven that smoking is harmful to your health. The life expectancy for smokers is ten years shorter than the average human’s and it kills nearly a half million Americans every year. There are many reasons why. It causes throat, lung, and oral cancer; destroys your gums and teeth; deteriorates lung tissue; and lowers oxygen levels in your blood. Smoking can also cause depression and other psychological instabilities. We know smoking is not good, but if it’s so dangerous, why do people do it?
When you smoke, your brain experiences a release of various chemicals because your body intakes nicotine. Hormones like dopamine and endorphins are released that create a sense of relief and pleasure that forms an emotional high. This “emotional high” lasts for a little bit but eventually fades. Shortly after smoking, your brain’s hormones drop to an unhealthy level and, in order to reach a chemical balance, your body wants to smoke again. That is why addicts crave smoking.
We didn’t decide to write this article, though, to tell addicts that their life is ruined. All of us want our patients to understand the dangers of smoking, but also that it is not too late to quit. There are many approaches that you can take to quit your habit. Researchers at Harvard have done in-depth studies of quitting plans and present their data in collaboration with helpguide.org. You can find articles on smoking abstinence on helpguide.org.
If you are already having oral health issues that were caused by smoking, Drs. Ferguson, Batra, and Smith can help fix them. Call our office in Kimball, Michigan, to schedule an appointment with our dentists. We believe in your power to stop smoking and are willing to help in your journey.