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Quitting Smoking May Increase Cavities

If you’re a cigarette smoker, the single most important thing you can do for both your oral and overall body health is to quit smoking. Unfortunately, that’s usually easier said than done, especially when it comes to some of the ways people have opted to help themselves quit in recent years.

Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes have become an increasingly popular swap for paper cigarettes, however vaping has been found to be no less dangerous, and in some cases more dangerous than smoking cigarettes. Now, another product designed to help quit smoking is coming into the spotlight for its dangers to your teeth. That product is nicotine lozenges.

Though they have been around for many years, nicotine lozenges recently came under fire for the damage they cause to teeth. It seems that though the lozenges may be sugar free, they still are causing myriad cavities. A recent investigation revealed why.

You see, some of these lozenges are made with artificial sweeteners that despite being better for your weight than sugar, aren’t so great for the teeth. These sweeteners include mannitol and sorbitol, which are not non-cariogenic, meaning they do not reduce cavities or prevent cavities. While artificial sweeteners like xylitol are non-cariogenic, this sweetener may not be present in nicotine lozenges.

So, what can you do if you want to quit smoking but don’t want to risk your oral health in the process? After all, part of the purpose of quitting is protecting your health. Quitting itself should not increase health risks. Unfortunately, the cessation products on the market aren’t perfect, but you can still make the best of them while you’re quitting.

If you do decide to go the nicotine lozenge route, be aware of the ingredients. Be sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and when you brush, pay special attention to the areas of your mouth where you hold the lozenges.If you have any questions or concerns about anything you see on the label, ask Dr. Peterson for assistance.

For more resources on quitting smoking, speak to your primary care physician, or visit CDC.gov.

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Posted in: General Dentistry

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