The Risk To Your Oral Health From Smoking

The Risk To Your Oral Health From Smoking

Our Bedford dentist explains why smoking places your teeth and gums in harm’s way.

A daily newspaper recently reported that dentists might provide more information to their patients about the importance of diet and alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, the headline did not include a reference to smoking.

We have covered the importance of a reasonably healthy diet in previous blogs, and, whilst alcohol consumption is also an important subject, and one that we will cover in a future blog, smoking is still one of the most dangerous things that you can do, both for your general and your oral health.

Oral cancers

Oral cancer is the most serious condition that can be triggered through smoking. It currently kills around 2,500 people per year in the UK alone and causes serious problems and in some cases, disfigurement, for many more. By stopping smoking, you greatly cut down your risk of this dangerous disease. Like most diseases, oral cancer treatment is more effective if started early, so if you are advised to see your GP following your check up at The Dental Centre Bedford regarding something we have spotted during your examination, please make sure that you do so.


Although not as serious as oral cancer, gum diseases, such as periodontitis are still a major threat to your teeth. Periodontitis occurs when its less invasive earlier form, gingivitis, is not treated, and is left to advance. Although other factors, such as poor oral health care may also play a role, smokers are generally at a greater risk than non smokers. Not only does the smoke irritate the gums and slow down any healing, but smokers tend to have dry mouths which makes for an environment where bacteria can multiply rapidly.

Especially if you do smoke, but even if you don’t, regular professional cleaning by the hygienist at our Bedford dental practice is an excellent way to help keep your gums in good health.

Stained teeth

Although not medically serious, having badly stained and yellow teeth is not a good look. Whilst it may not directly affect your health, it could affect your social life. A smile that reveals badly stained teeth is probably not going to win you new friends. Unfortunately, you will not be able to reverse this through brushing alone, not even if you use a whitening toothpaste as these are generally quite ineffective.

If you have badly stained teeth, we recommend arranging a consultation with our cosmetic dentist to discuss the best way forward. Whilst a straightforward teeth whitening procedure is still a possibility, it could be that porcelain dental veneers will be a more effective solution if your teeth are very badly stained.

To have your teeth and gums checked, or to see us about having your teeth whitened, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868 to arrange an appointment with our local team.