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The dental office, an ally for quitting smoking in times of coronavirus

If smoking was bad for health before the coronavirus pandemic, it is now an even more significant threat.

The dental office, an ally for quitting smoking in times of coronavirus

If any time is a good time to quit smoking, now, with the coronavirus pandemic, is the ideal situation for you to leave this harmful habit for good...and your trusted dental clinic can help you achieve it.

The growing evidence linking smoking to an aggravation of COVID-19 and identifying it as a possible risk factor for infection with SARS-Cov-2 further reinforces the measures aimed at promoting smoking cessation. And in this fight against smoking, every effort adds up, and every help can be transcendental. Therefore, the dental office's role in facilitating the abandonment of this harmful habit among dental patients is essential.
If smoking was bad for health before the coronavirus pandemic, now it is an even more significant threat.
Quitting smoking will not be easy; realistically, it is hardly achieved on the first attempt. For this reason, it is often necessary to consider seeking outside help. 

Support from the dental office in smoking cessation

If there have been previous attempts that have not worked or if the smoker feels incapable of doing it alone, it should be taken into account that the dental office is also an ideal setting in which smoking cessation therapies can be easily applied, based on advice, support and a follow-up one of our tasks or skills is to educate in health and motivate our patients on hygiene (oral) care and nutrition on an ongoing basis.

From DENTAL-OFFICE.ORG, we send a message that for all those who make up the oral health team, in addition to making a correct diagnosis and carrying out the conventional treatments that are necessary in each case, it is also a priority to control all those modifiable risk factors that are related to the appearance of oral problems and that worsen the quality of life of patients and, among them, smoking is one of the most frequent and severe because of its consequences.

Now, more than ever is the perfect time to quit smoking, adopt a healthier lifestyle, learn to eat better, exercise more, and manage stress. The beneficial effects of smoking cessation have a positive impact not only on the consumer but also on his or her closest relatives. They are multiple at a systemic level (i.e., on the whole organism) and, of course, at an oral and dental level.

Among the pernicious effects at the level of the oral cavity, in addition to its relationship with the appearance of oral cancer, smoking favors the development and progression of periodontitis limits the response to periodontal treatment, and has severe consequences in implant therapy. This can lead, among other products, to tooth loss, significant esthetic sequelae, poorer quality of life, and worsening general health due to the systemic implications of periodontitis.

Some reasons 

For all these reasons, DENTAL-OFFICE.ORG considers that numerous arguments support and endorse the leading role the dental office can play in smoking cessation and promoting healthy lifestyle habits. Fundamental aspects:

  •     Smoking reaches 28% of the population, making it one of the leading public health problems and the main cause of disease and avoidable death.
  •     At the present time, and in the post-confinement era that is accompanied by an increase in the number of smokers, according to recent studies, the control and prevention of any risk factor that may increase the risk of contagion and/or aggravation of the person who ends up developing COVID-19 are more insistently advised.
  •     The dental office is a health center attended daily by thousands of people, many of whom consider themselves "healthy" but, in reality, present risk factors that threaten both their oral and general health. It is, therefore, an ideal point of reference for establishing preventive measures, health promotion, and early diagnosis of some disorders.
  •     Tobacco negatively influences oral health, being a risk factor for the appearance of oral cancer, mucosal lesions, and periodontal and peri-implant diseases.
  •     Quitting smoking also helps to respond better to periodontal and implant treatments and avoids complications.
  •     The dental team professionals are accustomed to and sufficiently trained to teach hygiene and health habits.
  •     There is usually a professional relationship with a degree of complicity and closeness between the professionals working in the dental office and the patient, facilitating communication and acceptance of essential health advice.
  •     There is growing clinical evidence linking periodontal diseases (such as periodontitis) with other disorders as frequent and essential as diabetes, myocardial infarction, premature birth, or Alzheimer's disease, highlighting good oral health's impact on the development or aggravation of systemic inflammatory diseases.