Smoking: a growing problem in the UK

The problem of smoking has been growing rampant in the UK for the past few decades. Although there has been a slight decrease in the number of smokers in the past couple of years, 13.3% of adults in the United Kingdom still smoke. Smoking has multiple adverse side effects, but the one that goes most unnoticed is teeth and mouth damage. With over 6.6 million people in the UK smoking regularly, it is crucial to understand how smoking harms your dental health. Here are the top reasons why smoking is horrible for your oral health:

 

1.   Staining and Discoloration

The nicotine and tar in the cigarette’s tobacco can cause your teeth to turn yellow and sometimes even brown. Over time, the discoloration may become more difficult to remove; however, brushing your teeth multiple times daily and teeth whitening strips can still help combat the coloring. There are at-home remedies and professional dental treatments to help with your discoloring. If you have any further questions about treating your discolored teeth, please consult your dentist.

 

2.   Bad Breath

Smoking cigarettes can often lead to bad breath, or “smoker’s breath” created by the smoke lingering in your mouth. This bad breath can also lead to the impairment of your senses of taste and smell. Although it may be more challenging to fix your sense of smell, you can quickly improve your breath by brushing your teeth, drinking plenty of water, and quitting smoking.

 

3.   Gum Disease

Smoking is one of the leading components of gum disease. Because smoking can cause a buildup of plaque and a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, smokers are twice as likely to suffer from gum disease than nonsmokers. Tobacco use can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off bacterial infections in the mouth. As a result, harmful bacteria may accumulate along the gumline, causing inflammation and bleeding gums. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please immediately see your physician.

 

4.   Oral Cancer

Oral cancer accounts for over 140,00 deaths worldwide; in the UK alone, one out of four cases are caused by smoking. Smokers are at ten times higher risk of developing oral cancer than nonsmokers. Smoking tobacco exposes the soft tissues of the mouth to harmful bacteria. Without the proper treatment, these infections could become carcinogenic and life-threatening.

 

How to Quit:

  • Join a quit smoking support group
  • Gets lots of rest and eat well
  • Daily exercise
  • Make your friends and family hold you accountable
  • Consult your doctor

 

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