Most people know that smoking can discolour and stain the teeth from nicotine and tar, and often a reason smokers will often choose teeth whitening services.

However, smoking can have a much more harmful effect on your health beyond just appearance.

Smoking can increase the risk factor for tooth loss and oral disease.

By quitting smoking, regular brushing and flossing, combined with a healthy diet, can significantly improve your oral health, and lower general health risks to help you keep that smile.

Gum disease and tooth decay can be caused by tartar and plaque building up, and when this reaches the gemlike it can irritate the gums, causing them to swell and become more sensitive to brushing. If your gum disease isn’t treated quickly it can lead to permanent problems such as tooth loss and receding gums.

If you’re a regular smoker, you can increase this risk of gum disease by almost 6 times, and they can be just as severe. Smoking contributes by reducing blood flow to the teeth and gums, reducing saliva, which is important for cleaning your mouth of bacteria.

When you smoke, you also affect your mouth’s ability to heal naturally from common injuries such as ulcers. Treatments such as dental implants are not as likely to be as successful if you are a smoker.

One of the most serious oral health issues linked to smoking is oral cancer.

These types of cancers affect tongue, cheeks, lips and other soft tissues and are 9 times more common if you are a smoker than a non-smoker.

In fact, in Australia, smoking is the leading cause of oral cancer. More than 57% of cases in men, and 51% of cases in women are smokers. And if you are also a drinker, this increases more.

If you are a smoker and finding it hard to give up, talk to your dentist at Bright Smiles and they can give you an initial consultation to the status of your teeth, and provide information on how you can stop smoking, to ensure your teeth (and you) have a long life.