Stop smoking this Stoptober

September 19, 2016

So what is Stoptober? It’s like October without cigarettes! Within a few days of stopping smoking for Stoptober your breath should be fresher, your clothes should smell better and soon your teeth will start to look whiter. These are just a few of the benefits of not smoking this Stoptober.

Most people know that smoking is bad for their health. However, many people don’t realise the impact smoking has on their mouth, teeth and gums. In support of National Oral Health Day on 21st September this article seeks to highlight some of the dental problems associated with smoking, including:

– Bad breath
– Tooth discolouration
– Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
– Increased plaque
– Increased tartar
– Bone loss within the jaw
– Increased risk of leukoplakia (white patches inside the mouth)
– Gum disease
– Tooth loss
– Delayed healing after dental procedures
– Oral cancers
– Dental implant failures

A few Smoking Facts:

Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells partly due to an impaired blood flow to the gums. This leads to a higher susceptibility to infections and periodontal disease and a slower wound healing rate. Smoking also affects the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth leading to gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.

Pipe and cigar smokers may think that they are not at risk of developing dental problems. However the results of a 23-yearlong study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association show that their risk of gum disease, tooth and bone loss and oral cancers is equivalent to that of a cigarette smoker, even if they don’t inhale. They are also at risk of bad breath and stained teeth.

Smokeless tobacco also leads to dental problems since the chewing tobacco irritates the gums causing them to recede. Once the gum tissue recedes the roots are exposed creating an increased risk of tooth decay and sensitivity to hot and cold and other irritants. This makes eating and drinking an uncomfortable affair.

Research shows that about 90% of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat use tobacco. It also shows that the more you smoke and the longer you smoke the greater the risk of developing these cancers. This applies to those that chew tobacco too. Tobacco users are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop these cancers.
The nicotine and tar in tobacco causes staining of the teeth. Smoking can cause yellowing of teeth in a very short time and heavy smokers after years of smoking can have teeth so badly stained that they are almost brown.

What can you do?

Smokers can use mouthwashes or chew mints to help disguise bad breath. This does not cure the problem merely masks the underlying problem. They can use special toothpastes to keep teeth looking white but these are often more abrasive than normal toothpaste and should be used with care. Regular visits to the dentist and oral hygienist are essential for the smoker so that any oral conditions can be spotted early.

Or as National Oral Health Month ends and we head into October you could join Stoptober and get all the benefits of stopping smoking.

The most effective way to achieve better oral health is to stop smoking. Regardless of how many or how long you have been smoking, stopping smoking now can greatly reduce serious risks to your oral and general health. Within days of your last cigarette your breath improves and your sense of smell and taste is enhanced. Just 3 months after quitting smoking your teeth start to look whiter while the increased blood flow to your gums means they are healthier and heal quicker. Eleven years after stopping smoking your risk of gum disease and tooth loss is almost equivalent to that of a non-smoker.

How to stop smoking.

Research shows that the best way to stop smoking is by using a combination of behaviour change therapy, smoking cessation medicines such as nicotine replacement therapy and support. The GoSmokeFree service utilises this evidence based tobacco cessation programme to give smokers their best chance of stopping smoking.
Triple your success rate and quit smoking with the GoSmokeFree service at your local participating GoSmokeFree pharmacy. Take the first step towards Stoptober and book your GoSmokeFree assessment today – visit

For more information on the GoSmokeFree Smoking Cessation Programme visit or email

For more information on the GoSmokeFree Smoking Cessation Programme visit or email
This article contains opinions and facts and references to other information sources. You should always consult a registered healthcare professional for any personal advice.

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