While it's generally understood that smoking is 'bad for you', sometimes people are unaware of exactly why this is so and the specific effects smoking can have upon your health and, in particular, your teeth. Here are some reasons to consider when deciding whether or not to have that next cigarette: Discolouration Saliva in the mouth cleanses the teeth but when you smoke, you are reducing the flow of saliva around your mouth. You are therefore removing one of your body's natural defences against tooth decay. The ultimate result of this is that smoker's teeth are more prone to discoloration. Stains Cigarettes are largely made up of nicotine and tar - both of which will leave brown stains on your teeth. Tar leaves a sticky deposit on the teeth. Risk of Cancer While smoking is most commonly associated with lung cancer, the tobacco in cigarettes greatly enhances the risk of oral cancer too. Inflammation Smoking can irritate your mouth in such a way that the roof of it becomes inflamed and turns red in appearance. Infection Smoking reduces the flow of blood to the gums, leaving them less able to heal quickly. Therefore smokers have an increased risk of gum disease. Bad Breath Smoking also contributes to foul smelling breath which is unpleasant for those around the smoker and embarrassing for the smoker themselves. For more information on quitting smoking, please visit the NHS website. If you are concerned about the effects of smoking on your teeth, please give us a call on 02920008190 or book an appointment online to discuss your options.