If you are addicted to cigarettes then you may well find yourself reaching for your first smoke within just a few minutes of waking up. However new research has found that doing this could double your risk of developing oral cancer or lung cancer compared to those smokers who wait for at least an hour before having their first cigarette. The levels of tobacco smoke carcinogens were found to be much higher in people who smoked within a few minutes of waking up compared to those who waited at least an hour before lighting up.People who smoke first thing in the morning are likely to be more addicted to smoking than those who are able to wait a while, something that is perhaps borne out by other recent research that found people smoking early in the morning have a much harder time trying to quit the habit.
If You Smoke Make Sure You Have Regular Dental Check-ups
This is all pretty bad news if you are a smoker, and if you’re finding it extremely difficult to kick the habit. Oral cancer is a real problem in the UK, and smoking is known to be a risk factor. If you do smoke then it’s doubly important to make sure you visit Leeds City Dentalcare at regular intervals for check-ups with Dr David Brown or another dentist at the surgery. Checks for oral cancer are an important part of your regular appointments and could help save your life. Our dentist in Leeds will closely examine all your oral tissues, including your tongue and the inside of your cheeks to check for any colour changes, or any unexplained sore patches or roughened or thickened areas that may indicate the early signs of this disease. When caught early enough, the survival rates for oral cancer are extremely good, but one of the problems is that these early symptoms are very easy to miss.
Carry Out Regular Self-Examinations at Home
In between regular dental check-ups in Leeds you can also help yourself by carrying out self-examinations every month. Try to get into the habit of examining your tongue and the tissues in your mouth for any signs of abnormalities. Your mouth tissues should be a healthy pale pink colour, and shouldn’t have any white or red patches. You can also gently feel around in your mouth for any changes to the texture or thickness of the tissues. Other symptoms to be aware of include:
- Sores or ulcers that fail to heal within a reasonable amount of time
- Having unexplained bleeding in your mouth
- Experiencing difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Noticing your voice has changed or that you have a chronic sore throat
- Noticing your teeth fit together slightly differently
- Having any areas of unexplained numbness or pain in your mouth or neck area
Although it may be difficult, the best course of action is to try to quit smoking, and this is something you may wish to discuss with the dentists at our Leeds surgery. Smoking not only increases the risk of developing oral and lung cancer, but also the risk of developing gum disease. Nicotine makes it more difficult for the gum tissue to heal properly, and this can also be a problem if you are thinking about having certain dental treatments, for example dental implants. In addition giving up smoking will help keep your breath fresher. Even though these reasons are compelling, we do realise it can be extremely tricky to quit.