Did you know that:
- The most obvious effect of smoking is the staining and discolouration of teeth, caused by the nicotine and tar in cigarettes.
- Smoking has also been linked to a decrease of blood flow to the teeth and gums, bone shrinkage, teeth loss, and an inhibiting of the production of the right kind of saliva, a serious problem given how crucial a role it plays in protecting your teeth from decay.
- By far the most dramatic effect of prolonged tobacco use however is oral cancer, which is 9 times likely to occur in smokers than non-smokers.
- If you also drink a lot of alcohol, then you’re risk of developing cancer of mouth, throat, tongue, lips and salivary glands is even further increased.
- In recognition of World No Tobacco Day, the ADA (Australian Dental Association) is warning that non-traditional forms of smoking and tobacco consumption such as e-cigarettes and water pipes can increase a person’s risk of cancer.
What to do:
- Be positive! You can quit smoking!
- If quitting smoking is too difficult, try and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
- Brush your teeth twice per day using toothpaste with fluoride.
- Drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Eat fruits and veggies.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Get moving! Even mild exercise can help, such as walking your dog or pulling weeds in the garden.
- Use dental floss or interdental cleaners every day to clean between your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
Where to get help:
- Quitline Tel. 13 7848 (13 QUIT)
- Community Dental Clinics Tel. 1300 360 054 to find your local clinic
- Australian Dental Association Tel. (03) 8825 4600
- Come and speak to our Dentist Dr Manu Walker at Providence Medical & Dental Belmont