Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Health Tips for February 18

Health Tip: Tobacco and Oral Health

You know that tobacco is bad for your health, and your mouth is no exception.

The American Dental Association says smoking or chewing tobacco can cause or contribute to:

  • Cancers of the mouth.
  • Gum (periodontal) disease, which can lead to lost or sensitive teeth.
  • Bad breath, stained teeth, and even a stained tongue.
  • Reduced ability to taste and smell.
  • Slower healing after oral surgery.

Health Tip: Smoking and Diabetes

Smoking is harmful for everyone, but it can be particularly dangerous for diabetics, who are already at risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease.

If you're a diabetic who has smoked, no matter how long, you can improve your health by quitting. The American Diabetes Association offers this list of potential dangers for diabetics who smoke:

  • Smoking decreases oxygen in the tissues, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Smoking increases cholesterol and blood pressure, which raises your risk of heart attack.
  • Smoking constricts and damages blood vessels, which can make foot ulcers worse.
  • Smoking increases your risk of damage to the nerves and kidneys.
  • Smoking increases your risk of colds and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Smoking increases blood sugar levels.
  • Smoking triples your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to diabetics who don't smoke.

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