The effects on oral health are one of the key concerns for smokers, with seven in ten (71%) people highlighting it as a cause for distress.
More than a third of smokers in the UK (37%) have noticed a negative difference in their appearance since they took up smoking.
The research was commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which is urging people to quit on No Smoking Day, Wednesday 9 March 2016.
With smokers sacrificing their oral health, the BHF is encouraging dental health professionals to use No Smoking Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and encourage patients to quit by promoting quit aids in their practice and local smoking cessation services.
Dr Mike Knapton, BHF Associate Medical Director, said: “By quitting smoking you can stop or even reverse the effects on your oral health.
“We’re asking smokers to mark Wednesday 9 March on their calendars to take the first step towards a smoke-free life.”
Teeth discolouration is one of the biggest issues smokers face with over a third (36%) seeing a difference.
The nicotine and tar found in cigarettes and other tobacco products causes staining of the teeth. In a short amount of time, smokers will start to see a yellow discolouration, which could get worse over time.
Cigarette smoke also interferes with the mouth’s chemistry, creating a build-up of plaque on the teeth which causes gum disease – the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Smoking is also one of the leading cause of mouth cancer in the, mouth cancer claims more lives in the UK than cervical and testicular cancer every year.
Michaela ONeill, President of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) said: “Dental health professionals can play a major role in helping people to quit smoking in 2016.
“The effects of smoking of oral health are extensive and can be life threatening, we need to encourage our patients and offer support wherever we can to help them kick their habit and lead a healthier life”
Visit nosmokingday.org.uk to order a free No Smoking Day organiser pack
Join the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.
BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.
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