While it’s well known that smoking is very harmful for your health, not as many people are aware that chewing tobacco can be equally as damaging. The main way that chewing tobacco is used is in small bundles of tobacco leaves that are placed between the cheek and the gums. After sucking the tobacco juices, the residue is spit out — but this doesn’t mean that the tobacco doesn’t have the chance to cause harm to the body. Just as with cigarettes, chewing tobacco can cause severe health issues — and it can even be deadly. The best time to quit chewing tobacco is simple: As soon as possible! While it might seem like a challenge initially, it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few tips that can make it easier.
Know the Potential Consequences
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to quit chewing tobacco is to know the consequences of using it. You can suffer all of the following problems if you don’t stop chewing tobacco.
- Chronic bad breath: chewing tobacco can cause breath so bad that mouthwash isn’t enough to help.
- Discolored teeth: the nicotine in the tobacco causes teeth yellowing.
- Tooth decay: tooth decay can occur at an advanced rate due to the tobacco sitting so close to the teeth all the time.
- Damage to the gums: you can lose gum tissue, and therefore support for your teeth, if you chew tobacco.
- Open mouth sores: painful open sores can develop when chewing tobacco, making it painful to eat and drink.
- Cancer: chewing tobacco can increase the chance of developing mouth, tongue, cheek, gum, or esophageal cancer.
List the Benefits You’ll Gain
One great way to stay motivated about quitting chewing tobacco is to make a list of all the benefits that you’ll gain from doing so. Consider the following benefits that you can look forward to.
- You’ll save money: the cost of chewing tobacco could add up to hundreds of dollars a year — maybe even more. You can find many more enjoyable (and healthy!) ways to spend the money.
- You’ll make your family happy: your family wants you to be healthy, happy, and with them for a long time. By quitting, you’ll show them that you’re doing your best to achieve that.
- You don’t have to dread doctor and dentist visits: many chewing tobacco users dread doctor and dentist visits because they know that they’ll hear about how dangerous their chewing tobacco habit is. Now, you’ll be able to proudly tell your doctor and dentist that you’ve made an incredible healthy change in your life.
Commit this list to paper and put it in your wallet, or even place it on the wall in an area where you’ll see it daily. This list may be able to help you resist those chewing tobacco urges in the future.
Have Substitutes on Hand
For many chewing tobacco users, the act of chewing is soothing or calming. Giving that up can be hard, but luckily you can find a substitute for that sensation. Many chewing tobacco users keep flavored toothpicks on hand for the moment when the cravings hit. You might want to consider a cinnamon stick to curb cravings, as well. This keeps your mouth in motion and gives you the soothing sensation without causing the harm of chewing tobacco. Of course, it’s always best to use the substitutes in moderation and then to eventually phase them out if possible.
A Dental Practice You Can Trust
Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics is a Vero Beach, FL area dental practice that diagnoses, prevents, and treats periodontal disease in all of its stages and forms. It’s quite common for general dentists in the Vero Beach area to refer their patients to the Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics team for help when bone and gum tissue restoration is needed or when dental implants are needed. Dr. Brown at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and has also published work in the Journal of Periodontology Online. Contact Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics anytime to get help!