Saturday, July 28, 2007

Paying the Perio Piper and More Linky Loos

Today is Chantix Day 53 and Smoke-free Day 41.

First, I am very grateful and fortunate that for the most part it does look like I stopped smoking in time before some of the icky smoking related crap was able to get me (big guilt/fear thing while smoking). Of course the longer term stuff is yet to be known, but so far, so good, so lucky.

Except for my whole dental and periodontal thing.

I remember the first time I was told that my gums were in bad shape and that smoking was likely a contributing factor. That was roughly 8-9 years ago. At the time, I think it was during one of my (very brief) quits or shortly before one of them. In any case, I cried about it (similar to my feelings about my cilia, I know, I know). Obviously, that didn't stop me from smoking or going back to it. In fact, at one point in my great wisdom (and zero training in dentistry or periodontics, and clearly with no desire to know just what smoking could do to me beyond the more well known issues), I decided that the dentist just made it up because it was such a convenient answer. And so my periodontal issue got worse. And worse.

So about a year ago I found a great dentist who actually had a positive attitude and a plan for treatment (instead of just basically telling me I was screwed). I kept smoking, didn't do half of what was recommended because as long as I was smoking it was like there was no real point in bothering, and it got a little worse. Over the past few months, I have noticed some pretty disturbing changes, and I'm hoping that once again I'm not too late to either repair some of the damage or at least keep it from getting any worse. My effort begins today after my dentist appointment (I've had more doc/dentist appointments in the past couple of months than I usually have in a year - quitting smoking and taking care of business). No matter what, at least I'm no longer adding to the problem. I'm sorry gums.

Oh, and it turns out my dentist wasn't just blowing smoke (lame pun not intended; I hate puns) and that surprise, surprise, smoking just really isn't good for the teeth and gums either. If you are interested, curious, concerned or just reading along, check these out:

Teeth, Gums & Tobacco:

Tobacco Use and Periodontal Disease - The perio.org folks explain the range of issues and have an incredible number of links to other resources for even more info
Smoking 'causes 50% of gum disease' - From BBC News an article about US research and some hope that quitting can really make a difference
Smoking and Periodontal (Gum) Disease - From Family Gentle Dental Care with more about what smoking does to teeth and gums along with some diagrams

I will get the above links added to my Linky Loos (full list here) along with the new blogs I've added to the list over on the side of the page:

Current, Regularly Updated Blogs I Read Daily:
My World Without Smoking - Jaime's blog. Smoke free since July 10, 2007 and enjoying the smell of rain to its fullest.
From the desk of: Fat White Guy - King Frank's blog. Smoke free as of mid-day on July 26, 2007 (thankfully with a smoking meter up top to help non-math people like me deal with the half day thing)

(If the timestamp makes you wonder, no, I didn't get up at 5AM. But I am finally heading to bed.)

3 comments:

  1. Perio Piper! LOL! that's my sense of humor!

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  2. Heya!!! Congrats on the biopsy results!!! Interesting what smoking does for...oops....to you in your mouth isn't it? thanks also for the reminder on really how to think about smoking, all that yucky stuff we used to ignore.

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  3. John, we seem to share a funny bone.

    Tobin, so good to see you! Yep, I'm ready to stop ignoring.

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