In order to celebrate the World Oral Health Day, the ENSP organises a webinar on 19 March at 14:00 CET, showcasing the links between oral health and tobacco.
Unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and other tobacco use are among the important risk factors for many chronic diseases, including several oral diseases and conditions.
The effects of tobacco use on the population’s general health have been well illustrated. However, the effects of tobacco on oral health are also important to take into consideration. The most significant effects of smoking on the oral cavity are oral cancers and pre-cancers, increased severity and extent of periodontal diseases, and poor wound healing. Tobacco use and its association with oral diseases are a major contributor to the global oral disease burden, responsible for up to half of all periodontitis cases among adults. The clear link between oral diseases and tobacco use provides an ideal opportunity for oral health professionals to take part in tobacco control and cessation programmes.
Urgent and concerted action is required to reduce the disease, suffering and premature death which directly results from tobacco use. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) highlights the impact tobacco control programmes can have on reducing this burden. These measures include tobacco cessation programmes.
Dental professionals have a major role to play in smoking prevention. Evidence suggests that smoking cessation interventions are both effective and cost-effective. A brief intervention will often result in significant health gain and, in the long term, reduce smoking-related health-care costs to countries. Unfortunately, advice on quitting smoking is still not a routine part of clinical practice for many oral health professionals.
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