The combination of tobacco cessation medications and counseling have been shown to double success rates with tobacco cessation. A major goal of our providers is to help people who are highly addicted to nicotine and want to quit, but can’t. West Virginia University School of Dentistry includes tobacco cessation treatment training for all dental and dental hygiene students as part of their mission to provide excellent, comprehensive oral healthcare.
Tobacco is extremely addictive and without assistance with cessation, success rates are very low. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit. In a 2019 survey of West Virginia high school students, 53% reported that they tried to stop using all tobacco products. The current success rate for quitting smoking without assistance is approximately 3% to 6%. The hope is that the CTTTP will substantially improve the tobacco cessation rate within West Virginia and beyond.
There are many health and dental conditions tobacco use can cause. Smoking negatively impacts almost every organ in the body, including the mouth. Smokers are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, tooth loss, sinusitis, oral cancer, delayed wound healing, oral candidiasis and implant failure.
While long-term impact of e-cigarettes are not known at this time, due to their being a relatively new phenomenon, recent reports indicate a wide range of potential consequences associated with e-cigarette use including deteriorating periodontal and gingival health and changes to the normal flora in the mouth. Components of e-cigarette vapor have also been shown to have cariogenic properties.
Smokeless tobacco tends to show a localized destruction to the tissue surrounding the teeth in the areas where the tobacco is held, and has other systemic issues related to use such as increased risk of oral and pancreatic cancer.