While it may seem strange that your dentist wants you to quit smoking and/or using tobacco, he or she is really just a part of your overall health team. Your dentist cares about more than just your teeth which is why we’re urging you to quit smoking!
What is the Great American Smokeout?
The Great American Smokeout is November 16th this year, a tradition dating back to the 70’s. It’s a day when smokers across the US are encouraged to quit smoking, even if only for the day. Started by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokeout allows smokers to immediately improve their health. Even though smoking rates have dropped by 42% since 1965, over 36 million Americans still smoke.
Increased popularity in hookah, e-cigs, and vaping are making it easier and more attractive to younger people to take up the habit as well. In fact, according to a recent study, traditional cigarette use was down from 2011-2016 among teens but both e-cigs and hookah use was up. This early tobacco use leads to nicotine addiction which creates a long-term habit.
Tobacco addiction is physical and mental and therefore requires a combination of strategies in order to break the habit. The Great American Smokeout offers several ways to help smokers quit, and those resources can be found here.
Sadly, “tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and prematuredeath in the world” American Cancer Society.” Not only does smoking increase risk of many diseases , it’s also a leading cause of oral cancer. Sadly, most oral cancers are not detected until it’s too late, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
OralID™ is a new technology being used in some dental practices to screen for oral abnormalities making it possible to detect oral abnormalities, and in some casesoral cancer, long before it is visible to the dentist.
OralID™ utilizes fluorescent technology that emits a blue light to help dentists identify tissue abnormalities. Healthy tissue will shine while unhealthy tissue will appear dark, allowing the patient and dentist to have early intervention on oral abnormalities, such as oral cancer. Besides potentially being lifesaving, it’s cheap, easy and non-invasive.
Forward Science, the company who created the device, wanted to create a product that would save lives, but also be affordable so it could be widely used. Over half of oral cancers are found in their late stages, and only have a 50% survival rate. Early detection, something done with OralID™ in just minutes, offers an 80% or greater survival rate. It’s clear why their motto is: Shine Light. Save Lives™.
We’re proud to offer OralID in select PERFECT TEETH dental offices. If you are a smoker and are ready to improve your health by making a commitment to quit, whether one day, or every day, we support you and so does the American Cancer Society. Click here to find many helpful resources to support you along your path to quit smoking. Take action and schedule with your dentist for an oral cancer screening as well, it just might save your life!