Over the last few years, I have lost most of my teeth due to smoking. I started smoking in basic training because the only way you could get an extra break time was to smoke (especially when the instructor wanted to step out to take a smoke-break) (basic training from 73-76). My smoking also became a stress reliever and my habit worsened due to physical and mental abuse by fellow soldiers, and other abuses that I am too embarrassed to discuss unless necessary. I reported abuses but nothing was ever done about it. I increased my smoking up to 2 packs & sometimes 3 packs a day because I was a wreck. I currently am 70% PTSD disabled (100% IU). I started losing my teeth years ago but I continued smoking until about 5 years ago when I was convinced that the loss of my teeth was due to my years of smoking (too late). It was extremely difficult to stop, I have stopped and started. I was 18 yo when I joined the military. I was never told that smoking would cause the damage to my teeth that it has done. I have lost a lot of bone the wants to give me dentures (I am missing all of my teeth on the right side so there is nothing to hook a denture on and on my last visit about a month ago, I learned that I will lose more of my teeth. I have found a dental surgeon that explained how he can fix the damage to my mouth. I was never warned about the hazzards of smoking and the damage that it would do to my teeth and gums. Smoking was encouraged by the leadership as well as my peers. I have been reading that the VA has upgraded their position on smoking and the effects on an accepted disability (mine PTSD) and now recognize recognize veterans’ tobacco-related disease and disability. Could someone provide me with information on what I can do and if this is something I can file on? I am really tired of choking on my food. Please help me I am very depressed.
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About "Tbird" Theresa M Aldrich
Founder/CEO at HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC
Founded HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran 1997
PO1 Theresa Aldrich (Tbird)
Dates of Service: Jan 1983 - Dec 1990