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Tariq Drabu on How Smoking Can Affect Oral Health


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Dr Tariq Drabu is a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon. This Manchester born and educated dentist was one of the youngest dentists to graduate in the United Kingdom. He has worked at some of the busiest hospitals in the UK and Saudi Arabia and completed his Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is the owner of the very successful Langley Dental Practice and is also the Clinical Lead Dentist for the Oral Surgery Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services at NHS Heywood Middleton and Rochdale. Tariq Drabu also teaches and mentors postgraduate dentists in oral surgery at the UCLAN Dental Clinic in Preston.

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Tariq Drabu on How Smoking Can Affect Oral Health

  1. 1. Tariq Drabu on How Smoking Can Affect Oral Health Oral health has become an important factor for thousands of people throughout the world. With oral cancer and gum disease numbers on the rise worldwide, more people are paying more attention to their oral health than ever before. That being said, what many people don’t realise is that their lifestyle choices can have a negative effect on their oral health. One of the biggest problems we face as dental professionals is speaking to our patients about smoking and how it can negatively impact their oral health moving forward. One of the first things many smokers realise is that smoking stains their teeth. Tooth staining can lead to lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. Being unable to smile can have a negative effect on emotions. While there are tooth whitening solutions available from your dental professional, prevention is always better than cure. Smoking also causes a build-up of plaque. In most instances I find my patients that smoke advise me that they suffer from dry mouth. Lack of saliva can cause plaque to build up quickly, this can lead to gum disease and tooth decay moving forward. One of the biggest problems that smokers face these days is gum disease. There are two types of gum disease that smokers need to be aware of and the minute they notice any signs or symptoms, they should make an appointment with their dentist. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which causes inflammation and pain, while periodontal disease is severe gum disease. If periodontal gum disease is ignored, it can lead to tooth loss. The final way smoking can impact oral health is seen with the increase in oral cancer cases seen in the UK each year. There are over six thousand new oral cancer cases diagnosed each year with two thousand fatalities. There are more deaths caused by oral cancer than cervical and testicular cancer combined. One of the main causes of oral cancer is lifestyle choices. This includes smoking, diet and excessive alcohol consumption. I encourage my patients to be honest with me when it comes to smoking. If they smoke, I would rather know this straight off the bat, so I know what to look for. I can also help them manage their oral health effectively with good brushing techniques and flossing to help fight oral disease and ensure good oral health in the future.