Smoking Cessation

Quitting tobacco is difficult because all forms of it – cigarettes, cigars and spit (chewing) tobacco – contain nicotine and nicotine is the agent in tobacco that’s capable of causing addiction or dependence. However, you can quit once and for all. The reasons for quitting are simple: You’ll lower the chances of having a heart attack, stroke or cancer, including oral cancer. A smoke-free environment is healthier for those around you. If you’re pregnant, you’ll improve your chances of having a healthy baby. And, the money spent on tobacco can be used on other things.

We want to help in anyway possible and will always respect your right to make your own decisions. We would be happy to provide you with medications that can help you quit the addiction.

What effects can smoking have on my oral health?

    Oral Cancer
    Periodontal (gum) disease—a leading cause of tooth loss and sensitivity
    Delayed healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery
    Few options for some kinds of dental care (smokers can be poor candidates for particular treatments such as implants)
    Bad breath
    Stained teeth and tongue
    Diminished sense of taste and smell

What effects can smokeless tobacco have on my oral health?
Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products contain a variety of toxins associated with cancer. At least 28 cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in smokeless tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco is known to cause cancers of the mouth, lip, tongue, and pancreas. Users also may be at risk for cancer of the voice box, esophagus, colon and bladder, because they swallow some of the toxins in the juice created by using smokeless tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Sugar is often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, increasing the risk for tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down your teeth.

Are cigars a safe alternative to cigarettes?
Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers. Like cigarette smokers, cigar smokers are at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. In addition to the health risks, cigar smoke, like cigarette smoke can cause staining of the teeth and tongue as well as bad breath.

How can tobacco cause periodontal (gum) disease?
Smoking may be responsible for almost 75% of periodontal diseases among adults. Tobacco products damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas.

How do I quit using tobacco?

    Set a date to quit and stick to it. Choose a “low stress” time to quit
    Enlist the support of your family, friends and co-workers.
    Ask your dentist or physician about nicotine replacement therapy for use in cessation attempts. Using these medicines can double your chances of quitting for good.
    Remove tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia from your home, office and car.
    Seek tobacco-free environments to curve your temptations.
    Exercise. It may make you feel better about yourself and your decision to quit smoking.
    When you crave a tobacco—exercise the 4 D’s:

      Delay—craving will pass in 5–10 minutes
      Drink water—it will help to wash the toxins from your body
      Do something else—distract yourself by being active.
      Deep breathing—deep inhalations and exhalations are relaxing.

    Anticipate problems and have a realistic plan to deal with challenges.
    Call 1-800-QUITNOW or go to

Self-help tobacco cessation tools:

National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines
800-QUITNOW (800-784-8669) TTY 800-332-8615
The toll-free number is a single access point to the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines. Callers can speak with a counselor to receive help with quitting smoking, informational materials and referrals to other sources. The Quitline Map of North America provides an interactive map with information available by state regarding services offered and hours of operation.

You Can Quit Smoking
The You Can Quit Smoking Kit from the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office is a one-stop source for information to help smokers become tobacco-free. It contains guideline products designed specifically for consumers that are available in English, Spanish, and easy-to-read formats.

American Lung Association
Smoking cessation support is available from the American Lung Association.

You Can Quit Smoking Now!
This Web site (, developed by the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and others, provides information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people who want to quit smoking. The site provides:

    An online step-by-step cessation guide
    A link to the national telephone quitline
    NCI’s instant messaging service
    Publications, which may be downloaded, printed, or ordered