Sir Walter Raleigh - it's all your fault!
Smoking tobacco - one of life's evils. Many of us have the misfortune to be dragged into it as children due to peer pressure. Once we're sucked in and addicted, it's very difficult to get back out. The monetary cost is absolutely astonishing - click here to download a PDF on the cost of smoking.
This is Colleville American Cemetery, Normandy, behind Omaha Beach. (Bear with me!) The white marble crosses seem to go on for ever in all directions. Every one is someone's son, someone's brother, someone's father. There are nearly 10,000 of them. This cemetery contains many of the the young men who died in the carnage at Omaha Beach and the Normandy Campaign of 1944. If you've seen Saving Private Ryan, the opening scene and the bloodbath was for real. 2000 young men died in a matter of hours. It's an enormous number of wasted lives.
In 2007, according to Cancer Research UK we had 107,000 smoking related deaths in the UK alone. So we lose as many to smoking in a week in the UK as were killed on Omaha Beach on D Day. Many of them died awful, painful, but rapid deaths. Those who die from smoking, rarely die instantly. And we lose this many EVERY week, year in, year out. The victims of smoking usually die slowly and often horribly. They leave behind the same traumatised loved ones - the daughters, the sons, the wives and husbands. They leave behind the same desperate families who have to find a way in life without their loved ones.
Despite all the propaganda and misinformation put out by the tobacco industry over the years, it is now very apparent that smoking harms and kills an enormous number of people. The World Health Organisation have some horrifying statistics on smoking and the effect on the health of the entire planet.
From a dentist's point of view we see the effects of smoking in mouth cancers and in gum disease. If you smoke and you're one of the unlucky people who are genetically susceptible to gum disease (and as yet we're not very good at working out who is, apart from looking at your family and guessing) then you may as well kiss your teeth goodbye. Dentists and Dental Hygienists can spend all day scaling teeth and nagging about cleaning technique, but it's a waste of time if you smoke. All we do is chase around in circles making the bit above the gum look pretty. The progress of bone loss around the teeth will continue and the teeth will eventually need extracting.
Here's an article from the dental press. It sums it all up. In a nutshell, if you're a woman who smokes you've a higher chance of losing your teeth. Click on the picture below.
Ready to give up smoking?
Don't do it on your own. Get proper help from the NHS stop smoking service. You'll suffer far less and you're chances of success are much higher. Follow this link for more information.
© Hesslewood Lodge Dental Practice, 10/10/2016