Smoking – Some Facts
According to the recent research, smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.
Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.
Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.
Some may be fatal, and others can cause irreversible long-term damage to your health.
You can become ill:
- if you smoke yourself
- if people around you smoke (passive smoking)
Smoking health risks
Smoking causes around 7 out of every 10 cases of lung cancer (70%).
It also causes cancer in many other parts of the body, including the:
- voice box (larynx)
- oesophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach)
Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as:
- coronary heart disease
- heart attack
- peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels)
- cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain)
Damage of the lungs may lead to :
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which incorporates bronchitis and emphysema.
Health risks of smoking during pregnancy
If you smoke when you’re pregnant, you put your unborn baby’s health at risk, as well as your own.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications such as:
- Premature (early) birth
- a low birth weight baby
All forms of tobacco, including cigars, smokeless tobacco, and sisha water pipes, also pose dental health concerns.
- Greatly increases the risk for oral cancer a disease that progresses rapidly and can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated early. Oral cancer is, unfortunately, a significant killer today due to the fact that it is diagnosed very late. Regular dental check-ups can help.
- Increases the risk of gum disease, which is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. It’s thought that the bacterial load to the mouth causes an imbalance in oral bacteria that causes gum disease to progress over time.
- Smoking, in particular, can slow down healing in general in the mouth. It certainly postpones healing after oral surgery procedures, such as having a tooth extracted.
- Can damage gum tissue and cause receding gums, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. This could increase the risk of tooth decay and cause hot/cold sensitivity due to the exposure of sensitive nerve endings that are covered by the gum line.
- Can cause bad breath due to a number of factors associated with smoke itself but also a bacterial imbalance in the mouth.
- Causes stains on teeth that can’t be removed with regular brushing. Smoking is one of the most common causes of teeth discoloration.
- Can cause a build-up of tartar, which could require you to get more frequent dental cleanings or otherwise may further increase your risk of gingivitis or gum disease.