The dangers of smoking for your heart and lungs are well-documented, but often, the impact of smoking on the mouth is overlooked. If you’re a smoker, there are many reasons to try and give up, including:
- Lower risk of gum disease: gum disease is the most common cause of premature tooth loss in UK adults. Gum disease is often linked to poor oral hygiene, but studies show that smoking can also put you at risk of sore and swollen gums. This is because smoking reduces blood flow to the gums. Symptoms of gum disease include inflammation, pain, redness and bleeding when you brush.
- Lower risk of bad breath: smoking is one of the leading causes of bad breath due to the chemicals present in cigarettes. Bad breath can be a sign of underlying oral health issues, but it can also affect your confidence, especially in situations where you’re in close contact with others, for example, when riding the tube or train or when speaking to somebody during a date or an interview.
- Reduced risk of oral cancer: oral cancer affects the soft tissue in your mouth and throat. It is an increasingly common form of cancer in the UK, and the number of cases has risen by a third in the last decade. Smoking is the most significant risk factor for mouth cancer. Cancer Research UK estimates that more than 60 percent of cases of oral cancer are linked to smoking.
- Brighter, whiter teeth: smoking is one of the most potent threats to bright, white smiles. Chemicals like tar are known to stain the teeth, making the smile look less attractive.
If you’d like help and support with trying to quit smoking, we are here. Just give us a call or talk to your dentist at your next appointment.