Smoking is a well-known and documented risk factor in the causes of gum disease and oral cancer.
The prevalence of oral cancer has been worryingly on the increase in recent times. It is one of the primary reasons to visit your dentist regularly for dental health checks which include oral cancer screening.
If caught in the early stages, oral cancer can be treated well with much more favourable survival rates than if detected later on in the progression of the disease.
Giving up smoking is not particularly easy, especially if the habit has been established for a long time. In the first instance, it requires a strong desire on the part of the patient to want to kick the habit.
It is helpful if the support of friends and family is available as it helps in the initial stages to avoid situations where temptation may be too hard to resist.
How to Stop Smoking
The GP is a useful contact in this regard and should be able to direct you to a smoking cessation class, workshop or advice from the practice nurse.
The GP can prescribe medications to help give up smoking, but these can have side effects.
Nicotine patches or chewing gum can provide a substitute to smoking and help wean the patient away from cigarettes, rolling tobacco, shisha pipes and cigars.
Stop Smoking Holistically
Holistic approaches might involve acupuncture, homoeopathic remedies and hypnotherapy/cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Acupuncture acts on trigger points to relieve stress, and homoeopathy aims to achieve the same objective.
Hypnotherapy and CBT are guided relaxation techniques whereby the clinician will use tailor-made scripts to help the patient change their mindset and habits through powerful suggestions made during the sessions. These techniques can also act as ego-strengthening for other aspects of life including exam stress and low self-esteem. Generally, three sessions are required with an initial consultation including a detailed history of the problem. We recommend a follow-up appointment 1-2 months after the therapy sessions are completed.