Hermes London Dental Clinic supports smoking cessation
The most recent study into UK smoking habits found that In Quarter 1 of 2020, 13.5% of adults smoked cigarettes (equivalent to around 5.5 million adults). While this number is decreasing year on year, it still means that there is a large community of adults who are ignoring the health risk of smoking regularly – no matter how graphic the messages on cigarette packaging are.
The Hermes London Dental Clinic has joined the conversation surrounding smoking in support of National Non-Smoking Day (9th March) and beyond.
Principal dentist Dr Parneet Semhi said: “We see the effects of smoking on teeth and gums almost every day at our clinic and we can’t stress enough how vital it is to quit smoking in order to save your oral health.
“National Non-Smoking Day was the ideal place to start a community of people on the journey to becoming smoke-free together. This year’s campaign message is ‘Don’t give up on giving up.’ Every time you try to stop smoking, you’re a step closer to success.
“As many smokers need several attempts to kick the habits for good, Hermes London Dental Clinic is hoping that by providing information on how smoking can seriously damage your teeth we will help persuade smokers to give quitting another go this year for good.”
Dr Semhi explained that, for people with smoking habits, halitosis (otherwise known as bad breath) can kick up a stink in oral health. The most immediate reason why cigarette smoking causes bad breath is because some particles of the smoke are left in your throat and lungs long after the cigarette is finished, and the smell can linger for hours.
He continued: “That’s why, even if you brush your teeth after smoking, you still can smell it when you talk or exhale. Tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals, most of which are toxic and induce the growth of bacteria. Smoking has other effects that go way beyond bad breath to serious oral health conditions as it’s also one of the biggest causes of gum disease which often goes unnoticed.
“Even people who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day are twice as likely to develop gum disease. This increases to four to five times in heavier smokers. This infection of the gums can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In severe cases, it can make your teeth fall out.
“When gum disease, also called periodontitis, gets worse, your gums can pull away from your teeth and form spaces that get infected. The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place can break down, and your teeth may loosen and need to be pulled out.”
He added: “Around 8,300 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year in the UK, and around two in every three mouth cancers are linked to smoking. Cancer is a condition where cells in the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably and these cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue.
“Mouth cancer can start in different parts of the mouth, including the lips, salivary glands, tongue, gums, palate and inside of the cheeks. Smoking has been known to cause at least 15 types of cancer. Significantly reducing your tobacco intake or quitting altogether reduces your risk of oral cancer dramatically.
“Quitting smoking can restore good health much sooner than you think. 20 minutes after smoking a cigarette, your pulse rate returns to normal; after eight hours your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half. After 48 hours all carbon monoxide is flushed out and your lungs are clearing out mucus.
“Your body will thank you as after 10 years smoking-free your risk of lung cancer and heart attacks will have halved compared to that of a smoker. It’s never too late to quit, and remember - don’t give up on giving up.”
For more information on how to quit, visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/.
Hermes London Dental Clinic can help smokers living in or around London through their journey to better oral health. To find out more, visit https://hermeslondondentalclinic.com/.