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Dentists urged to stress dangers of smoking

Dental professionals across the UK have been urged to highlight the dangers of smoking to their patients, due to the harmful impact the habit can have on their oral health and overall wellbeing.

New figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealed more than one in ten smoking-related hospital admissions in the UK accounting for cases of cancer.

Researchers also found that 23 per cent of young adults use tobacco products, compared with 20 per cent of older individuals.

Dentists are recommended to use their expertise to inform individuals about the dangers of smoking – and particularly the impact that doing so could have on their oral health.

Smoking can stain teeth, cause dental plaque and bad breath, tooth loss and lead to gum disease. However, experts have claimed that the main concern is the significant risk of developing life-threatening illnesses such as lung disease and mouth cancer.

And with mouth cancer now affecting more than 6,500 people in the UK, the advice of dental professionals is more important to patients than ever before.

Practitioners could ensure patients are informed about the dangers smoking and eating unhealthy food can have on their health through dental marketing, which offers tips and advice on how to improve their lifestyle.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said mouth cancer rates have soared by almost 50 per cent over the past ten years, while smoking-related hospital admissions show the upward trend may continue into the future.

He explained: “Smoking and tobacco use is the leading cause of mouth cancer. Even though it is encouraging the see the number of smokers falling, one in five people is still a high percentage. To curb rising mouth cancer figures, this needs to improve.

“We know around two in three smokers actually want to quit, and the campaign offers a perfect opportunity to do this.”

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