Smoking and Dentistry


Dental Problems Associated with Tobacco Use

Most of us know that smoking is bad for our health, but did you know that smoking is also a major contributor to many dental problems? Cigarettes aren't the only products only to blame. All forms of tobacco, including cigars and smokeless tobacco pose dental health concerns. 

NHS smoking helpline 0800 022 4332 
- greatly increases the risk for oral cancer, a disease that progresses rapidly and can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated early.
- significantly increases the risk of gum disease, which is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
- (smoking in particular) can slow down healing after oral surgery procedures, such as having a tooth extracted.
- can damage gums and cause receding gums, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. This could increase the risk of tooth decay and cause sensitivity.
- can cause bad breath.
- causes stains on teeth that can't be removed with regular brushing.
- can cause a build up of tartar, which could require you to get more frequent scaling.

The Effects of Smoking

It causes over 80% of deaths from lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema (chronic breathing difficulty), and a quarter of deaths from heart disease. There’s hardly any part of your body that isn’t damaged by smoking. But if you stop now, you'll start to cut your risk of these and many other diseases. 

Second Hand Smoke
Non-smokers who breathe in smoke from other people’s cigarettes inhale more than 4,000 chemicals, at least 50 of which are known to cause cancer. For non-smokers, this means an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. For children, second-hand smoke means twice the risk of chest illnesses, including pneumonia, croup (swollen airways in the lungs) and bronchitis, plus more ear infections, wheezing and asthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers. 

Chewing Tobacco
Tobacco that you don’t smoke (including paan and/or chewing tobacco) is not a ‘safe’ way to use tobacco. People chewing tobacco are over 5 times more likely to be at risk of oral cancer Smoking and tobacco use cause bad breath, stained teeth,
gum disease, damage to your sense of taste and an increased risk of cancer to your lips, tongue, throat, voicebox and oesophagus (gullet). 

Pregnancy
Smoking can cause a greater risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Your baby is more likely to be born prematurely and with a low birth weight. 

What happens when you quit?
After 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse return to normal.
After eight hours blood levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide are halved and your oxygen levels return to normal.
After 24 hours carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body and your lungs start to clear.
After two days your body is nicotine free and your sense of taste and smell improve.
After three days you can breathe more easily, the bronchial tubes relax and your energy levels increase.
After two to 12 weeks your circulation improves.
After three to nine months lung function increases by up to 10%. Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve.
After one year your heart attack risk is now half that of someone who smokes.
After 10 years your lung cancer risk is now half that of a smoker.
After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of heart attack is the same as if you’d never smoked at all.
After 20 years a 20-a-day smoker will save THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS

Further information and support:
People who use NHS support are up to four times more likely to quit smoking than those who try to stop alone.
All areas have a free local NHS Stop Smoking Service that provides the medication and support you need to help you quit. Many services also offer support to help you stop using smokeless tobacco, such as paan.
Nine out of ten people using a stop smoking service would recommend it to another person who wants to stop smoking.
it is proven to offer you your best chance of stopping.
To find your local service, call the smoking helpline on 0800 022 4332 or ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to your local service.

Or visit the following websites:
www.smokefree.nhs.uk
www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Smoking-and-Pregnancy/