Three Clear Reasons To Stop Smoking

From aesthetic issues to serious health problems, smoking is a major concern.

If you, a family member, or friend that you know, still smokes, this blog could change your lives for the better. Especially if you are relatively young and feel fit, the worries about problems such as lung cancer and heart problems might seem a long way away right now. But they could be right around the next corner.

If you do smoke but you are proud of your smile and keen to preserve it, we hope that our dentally biased views on smoking might help you to change your mind about doing it. On an almost daily basis, we see oral problems at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, that have been either directly, or indirectly caused by smoking. We take a quick look at these below.

Stained teeth

Let’s start with the least serious problem that smoking causes, from a health perspective. Stained teeth will not damage your health, although they might damage your social life. Especially when we are younger, our teeth are usually quite white, and, even though they will darken gradually as we get older, nothing discolours them quite like smoking.

As the thick tar in cigarette smoke sticks to the teeth, it builds up a layer that can make your teeth actually appear brown, rather than ‘just’ yellow. Regular visits and cleaning by our Epsom dental hygienist may help, but they will eventually become badly stained, most likely to the extent that even a teeth whitening procedure would fail to lighten them. A more invasive dental veneer procedure might then be necessary to restore their appearance.

Gum Disease

The risk of gum disease is significantly higher in smokers than nonsmokers. This comes as no surprise as the irritant nature of tobacco smoke is likely to make the gums red and sore. Any minor wounds such as small cuts or scratches to the gums may also become infected rather than heal quickly as they would under normal circumstances.

Smokers often suffer from a dry mouth and this is an ideal environment in which the ‘bad bacteria’ that contribute to gum disease can thrive. As these bacteria grow in number, the risk of gum diseases such as gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis, are more likely to occur, with tooth loss a possible outcome if left unchecked.

Oral cancers

Although not as well known as some other forms of cancer, oral cancers should be treated very seriously and can prove to be fatal, with nearly 2,500 people dying from them in 2014 alone. Many survivors will also suffer from subsequent problems such as trouble swallowing, loss of taste, a dry mouth and even tooth loss.

Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to this problem and you can greatly improve your chances of avoiding it by stopping smoking now. Our Epsom dentist team routinely look for signs of cancer during your six monthly dental checks and you will be referred to your GP for further examination should we detect any symptoms that give us cause for concern.

If you are looking at that half full pack of cigarettes that you have left and are wondering what to do with them, we recommend that you find the nearest bin; the best place for them!

Always make sure to see your dentist every six months so that your oral health can be monitored effectively. Please call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic of Epsom today on 01372 720136.