Smoking – Stoptober

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Stoptober is the perfect time to give up those bad habits and quit smoking. Not only for your health but for your pocket too and with Christmas (that’s right the C word) just around the corner those extra pennies will come in handy.

Smoking has many effects on the body, and it starts with your mouth! Some are visible but the ones that aren’t are the most dangerous.

Staining

One of the more visible signs, this is caused by the nicotine and tar in the cigarettes which will make the teeth turn yellow. In the long term it can build up and leave brown staining on the teeth.

Dry Mouth

Smokers tend to get a dry mouth because the nicotine reduces saliva flow which can be uncomfortable. You need saliva to keep your mouth healthy as it is a natural defence against tooth decay.Saliva washes away sugars and protects against acids that are made by bacteria, without it you are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Bad Breath

Not only from the smoke, but dry mouth and gum disease create unpleasant smells too.

Gum Disease

Smokers are at risk of developing advanced gum disease, because the smoke suppress’ the symptoms of gum disease, they can become swollen and start to recede which can cause bone loss. Left untreated this can also lead to tooth loss.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can present in different ways, from white or red patches to lumps and ulcers that don’t heal. This is why it’s so important to know your body and keep an eye out on any changes. During your dental check-ups you are screened for oral cancer, so keep up to date and stop smoking. Those who smoke and drink are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

For help and support to stop smoking visit: http://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking