Encouraging our Greenwich patients towards a healthier mouth by kicking the smoking habit.
Although Stoptober officially started at the beginning of this month; the campaign, by Public Health England, is relevant at any time. There are advantages to starting at the beginning of course, but just because you may have missed out on this does not mean that you have missed the chance to stop this dangerous habit once and for all.
Although some of the struggle to quit smoking comes down to you alone, you may still be able to find local support groups, especially during this campaign. In many cases, these groups will offer continued support, long after Stoptober has ended.
Why should I stop smoking?
There are so many good reasons to quit smoking that it is difficult to know where to start. The following are just some of the reasons that immediately spring to mind.
- Causes lung disease
- Responsible for many heart diseases
- Trigger serious attacks in asthmatics
- Factor in other cancers, including oral cancer
These are just a handful of the medical reason. There are others too, including:
- Bad breath
- Cost (a 20 a day smoker will spend approximately £3000 per year)
- Smelly clothes
- Anti social, with smoking banned in public places
- Wrinklier looking skin
So why are dentists concerned about my smoking habit?
At the Confidental Clinic, we see patients that smoke as well as patients that don’t. Whilst there may be exceptions, it is safe to say that non smokers, in general, have significantly healthier mouths than those who do. There are two key risks to the oral health of smokers, and these are gum disease and oral, or mouth, cancers.
Whilst anyone, whether a smoker or not, can get gum disease if they neglect their oral health; smokers are at a much higher risk of this, and especially of it resulting in periodontitis, where the teeth may become loose and unstable, or even fall out. This is largely because smoking affects your immune system, reducing its ability to fight against the bacteria that causes gum disease. This means that they multiply much faster and are more difficult to control. The toxins in cigarette smoke are also likely to irritate any minor injuries to the gum and slow down any healing process. It is for this reason that smoking is ‘forbidden’ following a dental implant placement.
Smoking is the biggest risk as far as oral cancers are concerned. This type of cancer can prove to be fatal or, at the very least, life changing, if not treated promptly. This is why we check for any potential indications of it during your regular check ups at our Greenwich practice and will refer you to your GP should we detect anything that may be of concern.
Hopefully this brief blog about the risks and other disadvantages of smoking will resonate with some of our ‘smoker patients’. It is never too late to kick this health damaging habit and, with a little extra help during Stoptober, now might be a good time to try to quit. You can find many resources to help you at the Stoptober website and visiting https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/6-stoptober/resources may be a good place to start.
Remember too, that an important part of your oral care is the regular check up that we perform every six months or so. If you have fallen out of this habit and would like to arrange to have a thorough oral health check up at our Greenwich clinic, please call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 8858 1422.