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Stoptober – smoking and oral health
Support for quitting cigarettes
Smoking and oral damage
Stoptober 28 day challenge
It can cause significant health problems, limit lives, wreck oral health and pollute environments, yet people still indulge in the habit: Smoking.
We encourage patients not to smoke after surgery, but we know some still do. And we understand too that tackling the habit is not always easy.
Stoptober is back for 2016 to encourage smokers across England to make a quit attempt during October. The initiative has driven almost 1 million quit attempts to date, with thousands more likely to take part this autumn.
While Stoptober is a campaign in its own right, it is now linked with Public Health England brand, ‘One You’, that helps adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by modern life. In addition to encouraging people to stop smoking, One You also tackles other everyday habits and behaviours such as overeating unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended and not being active enough.
But it’s the smoking issue we are concerned about.
Launched in 2012, Stoptober is the 28-day stop smoking challenge that encourages and supports smokers across England towards quitting for good.
It is based on the insight that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to be able to stay quit for good.
Throughout October the campaign looks to continue to recruit smokers to take part, while also encouraging and supporting quitters through the 28-day smoke-free journey.
For more information and to get help if you need it, visit the official website.
Comedian Al Murray lends his support to Stoptober
Smoking and oral health
Everyone should be aware that smoking is bad for their health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, still, people don’t realise the damage that smoking does to their mouths, gums and teeth.
Smoking can lead to bad breath, tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
Staining of teeth
One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. It can make your teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking.
Smoking and gums
It’s a fact that people who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums don’t heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and causes gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Smoking and cancer
We hear a lot about lung and throat cancer being linked to cigarettes, but many people still don’t know that it is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.
Harmful ingredients in a cigarette
You’d be excused for thinking nicotine is the most dangerous ingredient in cigarettes, there are 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, and at least 69 of them can cause cancer.
Smoking a cigarette will dispense a dose of:
Acetone, a flammable solvent used in nail polish remover
Arsenic, a poison
Benzene, found in rubber cement
Formaldehyde, the base of many embalming fluids
Lead, used in batteries
Tar, a material used on roads
Special toothpaste for smokers
There is a special toothpaste for people who smoke. They are sometimes a little more abrasive than regular toothpaste, and you should use them with care. Book a same-day appointment with our dental hygienist Sophie if you want your teeth professionally cleaned.
Don’t miss your check-ups
It is vital that you are seen by a dentist regularly and get a full mouth examination so that any trouble can be spotted early. People who smoke are more likely to have stained teeth, and therefore may need appointments more often with the dental hygienist.