The effects of smoking on your oral health
Most people know that smoking is bad for your health, causing deadly diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and stroke etc. While these health risks grab all the headlines, many people still don’t know the serious effects smoking has on your oral health.
Stoptober is a campaign to encourage smokers in Britain to kick the habit for the month of October. Its based on the belief that after 28 days without a cigarette, you’re 5 times more likely to quit the habit for good.
Here are 5 reasons why you should quit smoking and join Stoptober this month:
According to the NHS, more than 93% of cancers (in the gullet part of the throat) are caused by smoking, and if you smoke you are 6 times more at risk of developing mouth cancer than non-smokers! The odds also rise when combined with alcohol use and poor diet. However, if you stop smoking your risk of cancer begins to decrease even if you’ve been a heavy smoker.
Unfortunately mouth cancer is hard to detect early on and it is very virulent and can grow quite rapidly, however we examine your mouth for early signs of the cancer EVERY check up, so make sure to have regular appointments with us!
Risk of gum disease
Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream; so infected gums do not heal. This then accelerates the effects of gum disease, which can also lead to the loss of a tooth.
Smoking is a major contributory factor to tooth loss in the UK. As explained above, smoking can worsen the effects of gum disease and if left untreated, the bone in your jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. This may then result in your tooth becoming loose and falling out.
It’s not surprising that bad breath would occur in smokers, as over 4,000 chemicals pass through your oral cavity each time you smoke and many of them end up collecting on the surfaces inside your mouth. Smoking can also contribute to bad breath by drying out the mouth.
It’s well known that a smoker’s pearly whites, aren’t so white! Nicotine and tar quickly leave unattractive yellow stains that discolour the tiny cracks in the tooth enamel and long-term smokers often find that their teeth are almost brown. Visit our hygienist, Binisha Patel, for an airflow stain removal treatment, which is a 20 minutes painless clean for your teeth!