What Your Dentist Wants You to Know About Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking is harmful, but an estimated 36 million Americans are still smokers—and almost half of these individuals live with a smoking-related disease. One of the things general dentistry practitioners dread most is diagnosing a patient with life-threatening oral cancer. If you’re a smoker who has thought about quitting, or you’re simply concerned about the possibility of your teenager trying a cigarette, your dentist wants you to know the following facts.

Smoking Mutates Your DNA

The National Institutes of Health states that there are at least three major established pathways by which smoking causes cancer. Cigarettes contain carcinogens, and these carcinogens form covalent bonds with DNA. Additionally, permanent somatic mutations accrue in critical genes. These DNA mutations lead to cancer. Smoking causes many types of cancer throughout the body, including the following oral cancers:

  • Oral cavity
  • Larynx
  • Pharynx
  • Esophagus
  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Cheeks

There are thousands of chemical compounds in each puff of tobacco smoke. These include over 60 carcinogens, each of which is strongly linked to cancer.

Smoking Is an Addiction

Many smokers have tried to quit without success. Some have tried dozens of times. It’s important to realize that smoking is an addiction, not a bad habit or a vice. Willpower alone might not be enough. Would-be non-smokers may have greater success if they treat smoking like an addiction, such as by seeking medical intervention. Your general dentist wants you to know that he or she is always available to help you fight back against oral cancer. In the dental office, you can receive a thorough oral cancer screening, and you can find motivation in the form of patient education. Your primary care physician is another trusted resource for smoking cessation help.

Smoking Cessation Slashes the Risk of Cancer

It’s never too late to quit smoking. Even if you’ve been a heavy smoker for decades, quitting now will reduce your risk of oropharyngeal cancers and countless other health problems. Plus, smoking cessation improves the health of everyone around you. Secondhand and thirdhand smoke is just as deadly as firsthand smoke.

At Eagle Falls Dentistry, your health is important to us. Our team of compassionate dental hygienists and general dentists in Bloomingdale, IL looks forward to learning about your health goals and helping you achieve them. Call (630) 894-5992 today to reach our dental office on Stratford Drive, or Associated Dental Care on Bloomingdale Road.

Contact Us


Why Choose Us?

  • Over 45 Years of Dental Expertise
  • Two Convenient Bloomingdale Locations
  • State-of-the-Art Technology
  • All-Inclusive Family Dental Care