Southview Dental Care are encouraging our patients to give up smoking for good with the help of Stoptober. The Stoptober Challenge is run every October by Public Health England and is based on research that shows if you can stop smoking for 28 days then you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for life!
Most of us would agree smoking is not a great habit to have. It’s well known that it causes many medical problems, however many people are unaware of the damage caused to the mouth, teeth, and gums.
One of the first things we notice about a person is their smile. Smoking causes a build up of staining due to the nicotine and tar hiding in the tobacco and long-term smokers can find that their pearly white teeth eventually turn brown.
2. Bad Breath
Smoking helps to encourage the growth of VSC (volatile sulphur compound) bacteria in your mouth, which give off the classic “rotten-egg” smell. The smoke from cigarettes also causes your mouth to become dry, allowing it to become a breeding ground for these bacteria.
3. Gum Disease
Smoking creates a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream which slows the healing of ulcers, cuts & infected gums. Over time this can also affect the bone that supports the teeth, causing them to become loose and, in extreme cases, may result in tooth loss. Smoking also causes people to produce more plaque, allowing gum disease to progress quicker than non-smokers.
4. Mouth Cancer
Smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer and cases are on the rise, especially amongst younger people. According to the Oral Health Foundation, around two in every three (60%) mouth cancers are linked to smoking, plus smoking tobacco increases your chances of developing mouth cancer by up to a whopping ten times, compared to a never-smoker. There is also evidence that second-hand smoke may increase a person’s risk of mouth cancer.
How To Start Your Stoptober Journey
To get started on your Stoptober journey, we recommend visiting the NHS Better Health website for plenty of support and advice. Here you will find a FREE Personal Quit Plan with just 4 questions for you to answer and your plan sent straight to your inbox. There is also a link to find your Local Stop Smoking service. In the meantime, our top tips for quitting are:
- List your reasons to quit. – There are lots of reasons to stop smoking, from avoiding health problems to saving money! Write them down and read them back when you need a bit of extra support.
- Tell people you’re quitting. – Telling people you are quitting will help to feel more accountable when you are tempted to smoke. Others can also offer their help and support and some may be able to give you advice!
- Use stop smoking aids. – There are many different aids on the market, such as nicotine patches, gum and e-cigarettes. Talk to your GP about which one will be the most suitable for you.
- List your smoking triggers and how to avoid them. – Knowing your triggers will help you to avoid situations where you may be tempted to smoke.
- Keep cravings at bay by keeping busy. – Try taking up a new hobby, or re-igniting your passion for a past interest.
- Join the Stoptober Facebook Group for moral support!
Talk to your dentist or hygienist about giving up smoking. Call our friendly reception team on 01732 865021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.