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NHS doctor on the dangers of smoking

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Nearly seven million adults in the UK smoke, even though the habit is one of the leading causes of death and illness. Smoking isn’t just responsible for life-threatening diseases, it can dramatically change your appearance by speeding up ageing and ruining your teeth. Express.co.uk chatted to Banning Dental, who won Best UK Dental Practice last year, to find out how smoking impacts your teeth.

Nobody is clueless about how bad smoking is for you, but the struggle to quit is real.

Besides the diseases that develop as a result of long term smoking, the habit also has massively damaging effects on our teeth and overall oral health.

The experts at Banning Dental said: “There are a variety of dental problems associated with the mouth of a smoker, tratament varice cu lipitori iasi some of which are irreversible.

“From a dentist’s perspective, there are some very common tell-tale signs of a smoker’s teeth that are very obvious to spot on initial consultation.”

The experts have revealed five ways that smoking impacts your oral health and how dentists can tell if you smoke.

Tooth discolouration

White teeth will never go out of style but you will never achieve gleaming, healthy teeth if you smoke.

Even smoking a couple of cigarettes per day will lead to staining and discolouration, just at a slightly slower pace than if you smoked more, according to the experts at Banning Dental.

They explained: “Imagine your teeth are like a cherished piece of porcelain (this is the enamel of your teeth).

“The porcelain has very fine cracks in it and as we use our teeth over the years, the miniature cracks absorb almost everything we eat and drink.

“For smokers, with each pull on a cigarette, nicotine, tar, and other substances that contribute to making these tobacco sticks so addictive, seep into the cracks and contribute to classic yellowing signs of a smokers teeth. Because the vapour is so fine, it can do this all too easily.”

No matter how well you brush and clean your teeth, the heavy staining can’t be removed and your teeth will remain yellow.

Yellow teeth also make us appear older than we are, and you probably don’t want that!

The experts added: “The brightness and vitality that we may have once had in our youth is now giving way to a more tired, dull, stale appearance.

“In a society that is so keen to defy the effects of ageing, ditching the fags would be the most effective anti-ageing practice of all. Saving you money and your health!”

Tooth decay and loss

The damage isn’t always obvious to begin with, but long-term smoking will cause your teeth to gradually decay.

The experts explained: “When smoking, the supply of oxygen available to the gums is restricted resulting in the nerves not receiving adequate healthy blood supply to remain healthy.

“Sizeable spaces can appear between the teeth and around the gum line.

“Not only are these black triangles unsightly, but they can also often lead to infections with food becoming trapped between the teeth.

“This will result in the cavities growing larger and the tooth structure weakening. In the worst cases, the tooth will eventually either fall out or need to be removed.

“If you are reaching the point of tooth loss and tooth decay, this will lead to further signs of ageing and most certainly more costly dental procedures.”

They pointed out that for the price of just one month of cigarettes, you could be working towards having a fabulous set of teeth and ensuring your face is radiating with youth.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the mouth that, over time, causes damage to the gums and teeth.

The first signs are bleeding when flossing and sometimes even bleeding while brushing.

The Banning Dental spokesperson said: “As periodontal disease progresses, the gums begin to look as though they are receding – another classic sign of smokers teeth.

“You may have seen the shocking advert of a woman’s eye-bleeding and being told that we wouldn’t let that go unseen by a doctor, but that many of us will have bleeding gums and not do anything about it seems crazy!

“This is a poignant advert and is yet another reminder that if you are experiencing bleeding when brushing or flossing, it’s time to see your dentist.”

It is possible to reverse periodontal disease if caught early, so if you’re a smoker and are experiencing this, quitting smoking and making a dentist appointment is essential.

Bone damage

If gum disease is not checked and treated, the infection will spread and cause bone damage.

The infection will move deeper into the gum tissues and the underlying bone structures, causing the bone to break down.

The experts noted: “Sometimes in more advanced cases, surgery becomes necessary.

“That can have devastating effects on the structure of your jawline and overall facial features.

“Bone loss causes a sinking, drawn look and requires far greater intervention and reconstruction. Please don’t allow the situation to reach this stage.”

Mouth cancer

The NHS reports that around 8,300 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year in the UK, which is about one in every 50 cancers diagnosed.

The Dental Practise’s experts pointed out that the leading causes of mouth cancer are attributed to smoking and drinking alcohol, two things you can quit.

They said: “Oral cancer can affect any and every part of the mouth, including lips, gums, cheeks, teeth and tongue.

“Since we depend on our mouths to eat, drink and communicate this is a seriously challenging condition, which really can only be treated with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

“This is not something to be taken lightly, but the risk can be massively reduced by kicking the habit.”

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