How to Quit Chewing Tobacco and Turn Your Oral Health Around

Why You Need to Quit Chewing Tobacco and Reclaim Your Health

How to Quit Chewing Tobacco and Turn Your Oral Health Around

Smoking is bad for you — that’s a refrain we’ve all heard, though many of us have disregarded it. But did you know that other methods of tobacco use are just as bad? For example, dipping snuff can be just as disastrous for both oral and general health. So if you want to know how to quit chewing tobacco, you’ve come to the right place.

Of course, if you’ve been using snuff for a long time, chances are that the consequences of that may stick around even after you quit. Fortunately, certain dental procedures can help you recover your gums and teeth. And if nothing else, you can get dental implants in Avondale & Logan Square, IL.

With that in mind, let’s kick tobacco to the curb — together! To quit any bad habit, you’ll need good reasons. As it happens, that’s something we have in spades. Here are some things to keep in mind when the going gets tough.

Why You Should Quit Chewing Tobacco

As we have mentioned, there are several health risks associated with tobacco use of any kind. Snuff contains the same dangerous and potentially cancerous chemicals that are found in cigarettes. However, the added element of chewing the tobacco comes with its own set of challenges.

For one, the rough texture can cause mouth sores, receding gums, stained teeth, and bad breath. On top of that, snuff can cause tooth abrasions or scratches in the surface level enamel. Eventually, those tiny signs of wear can grow into bone loss — particularly near the root of the teeth. Needless to say, all that often results in total tooth loss, at which point dental implants may become the only solution.

Still, leukoplakia is the most recognizable symptom we find in longtime snuff users. These leathery white patches in the mouth aren’t just an unattractive sight. They can also become cancerous.

After all, while chewing snuff may not damage the lungs in the same way cigarette smoke does, it can still lead to the development of cancer. The main concerns we should have are pancreatic and oral cancer — both of which come with a list of gruesome symptoms.

So while nicotine addiction is the main symptom of tobacco use of any kind, it is by no means the most concerning one. With that being said, let’s talk about how to quit chewing tobacco once and for all.

How to Quit Chewing Tobacco — the Ultimate Guide to Dropping the Dip

If you want to know how to quit chewing tobacco, you’ll have to start with an understanding of why you do it. Do you just need something to chew or are you a full-fledged nicotine addict? Are there certain situations that warrant more snuff use than others? The following steps will help you answer those questions and figure out a plan for quitting chewing tobacco.

Consider Whether You Want to Go Cold Turkey or Wean Off Gradually

If we’re looking to quit chewing tobacco, it’s important to start with a clear intention. To do that, it’s great to have a certain date you want to quit by. Once you have that, it’s time to ask whether you want to quit abruptly or wean yourself off gradually.

Those of us who want to get it over with can simply toss any chew products from the house and car. Instead of buying more snuff every time we experience a craving, set aside that money in a reward fund.

On the other hand, if we opt for a gradual transition instead, we can wean off by using products that contain less nicotine. Cutting down on the frequency of dips and using smaller amounts of product is another good way to reduce the amount of tobacco we use. Lastly, we can also note the date every time we open a new can of dip to keep track of our usage.

Document Every Step of the Process — Even If You Fail

Documenting the process of quitting chewing tobacco can help us stick to our goals. Journaling about our tobacco use can be something we do before we quit or even during a gradual weaning process. Namely, we can note:

  • The time of day
  • The activity we were doing before we started craving
  • Our general mood
  • The intensity of the craving

Having about a week of data will help us see when our need for snuff is at its peak. Knowing our triggers can help us adjust our habits accordingly. Even when we relapse, documenting the occurrence can help us see where we went wrong and get back on the wagon.

Deal With Cravings

When people are trying to quit dipping tobacco, cravings are a regular occurrence. The best way to deal with them is to remind ourselves of the health consequences of continuing the habit. Of course, that may not help us deal with withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, depression, constipation, and headaches.

When those come up, we recommend doing deep breathing exercises or physical workouts to distract yourself from the discomfort. Some people also find that brushing their teeth decreases the chances that they’ll chew tobacco. Alternatively, we can occupy our mouth with something else, such as:

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Carrots
  • Beef jerky
  • Toothpicks
  • Mints or other sugar-free hard candy
  • Sunflower seeds or nuts (minding not to chew on something that can crack your teeth)

On the other hand, if nicotine is the source of our cravings, there are plenty of over-the-counter products that might suppress the need to chew tobacco. Nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays are all great substitutes for the real thing. Alternatively, we might suggest talking to a doctor about prescription medication like bupropion and varenicline.

Recover Your Oral Health

Most people can only handle dealing with one crisis at a time. So regular dental checkups are the last thing we want to think about when we’re trying to kick a bad habit. However, in this case, seeing a dentist can make us more likely to stick with the plan.

For one, an oral health professional should be able to help you come up with a plan to heal any mouth lesions you may have as a result of snuff use. Additionally, they’ll be able to assess your dental health and see if you need any teeth implants.

As we can see here, dental implants can entirely replace missing teeth and conceal any visible consequences of dipping. However, if you find yourself in need of a tooth implant, we suggest tracking down the best implant dentist in your area. After all, tooth replacement requires the dentist to drill into the jaw and install a metal base that an artificial tooth would screw into. Needless to say, we wouldn’t want to have an unqualified dentist attempt such a procedure.

In any case, fixing the effects tobacco had on our oral health should increase your chances of quitting for good. Ultimately, no one would want to compromise teeth they’ve paid to repair.

Enjoy the Benefits of Kicking the Habit Once and for All

If you’ve been wondering how to quit chewing tobacco, there you have it. Now, you just need to commit. And if you need any help doing that, just remember the benefits you’ll experience once you quit dipping for good.

No more sore gums, mouth sores, and tobacco breath for you! Even your food will taste better! Best of all, your overall health will improve once you’re at a reduced risk of cavities and cancer. So don’t hesitate and, more importantly, don’t be discouraged if you can’t quit overnight.



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