Smoking is a major risk factor for developing periodontal gum disease. According to a national survey, the number of smokers to successfully quit has increased in the last year, leading the way for a greater level of oral health. Almost 250,000 people in England quit smoking between April 1 and December 31 2009, a rise of 10 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
Results from the NHS Stop Smoking Services survey also showed that more than another 375,000 of the country's smokers have decided to kick the habit for good and set a quit date.
Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, welcomed the results but insisted that more needs to be done to educate people on the hazards of smoking.
Dr Carter said: "Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause many different medical problems and in some cases fatal diseases. However, many people do not realize the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums, and teeth.
"Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, and tooth loss.
"When people think of the dangers of smoking they instantly think of lung and throat cancer, but many are still unaware that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too.
The Foundation encourages members of the public with any concerns about their oral health to contact the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188.
If you have periodontal gum disease due to current or former smoking, you should also consider adding a Waterpik® Water Flosser to your daily teeth cleaning. Studies show that people previously treated for periodontal disease who added a Waterpik® Water Flosser to their daily routine had better reductions in bleeding gums and gingivitis than those who did not.