Tobacco products are one of the leading causes of debilitating health problems in the world. They can also increase the chances of an astounding amount of oral health problems including gum disease, tooth decay/loss, and other, potentially fatal diseases, such as mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers. At Bedford Dental Group, we like to remind people of the effect smoking can have on not only your physical well-being but especially on your oral health.
ADA News reported late last month on the accreditation of a training program that will allow dentists to help their patients stop using tobacco products.
How The Tobacco Cessation Program Began
In 1999, Dr. Susan Morgan, Clinical Professor of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry, read an eye-opening study in the Journal of the American Dental Association. In that study, roughly 59% of those surveyed said that dentists should offer advice and services on how to help them quit using tobacco products. The same study showed, however, that 61.5% of oral health specialists didn’t think that dental patients would be interested in such services.
Heavily inspiring Dr. Morgan, WVU’s tobacco training program was born. On October 6th of this year, it was announced that after 17 years, the school had received accreditation from the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs. This means the program is now officially certified to help educate dentists to guide people away from tobacco use, which could drastically reduce a patient’s chances of oral and physical health degradation.
How can this help you?
According to Dr. Morgan, “Dentists don’t always know how to approach someone who wants to quit.” The program teaches dentists methods on how to start the conversation with their patients by giving them guidance and options on how to quit their tobacco use for good. The original study that inspired Dr. Morgan goes to show that people are interested in knowing how smoking can affect their oral health – they may just not always know how to go about asking for advice.
Smoking is a leading cause of periodontal disease. Smoking can cause plaque build-up on your teeth, which is inextricably linked to tartar build-up, which leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis can graduate to periodontal disease, leading to tooth loss. Dental emergencies can happen which require immediate attention, and Bedford Dental Group is prepared to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can address damage brought on by smoking and less-than-ideal oral hygiene habits, anything from root canals to sore gums. We’ll give you the guidance you need for periodontitis prevention and the concentrated care that will get your smile back in shape.