Plymouth University dental students have been working with the Plymouth Stop Smoking Service to raise oral health awareness and access to dental care.
The students designed information leaflets for Plymouth Stop Smoking Service staff and for patients.
They also made a video of someone who quit smoking using the service, which will be used to encourage dental patients who smoke to feel more confident about using the stop smoking service.
‘The dental students have been a very hard working creative and professional group, and it’s been exciting to see the project develop from initial brain storming to implementation,’ Beverley Desborough from the Plymouth Stop Smoking Service, said.
‘We really hope that future students will continue to develop on the work produced.’
Smokers are more likely to have gum disease as smoking can increase the number of harmful bacteria, and reduce blood flow in the gums and supporting tissues of the tooth.
As well as gum disease, smoking can lead to tooth staining, tooth loss and – more seriously – mouth cancer.
The students worked on a number of projects to help improve the flow of information between Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry and the Plymouth Stop Smoking Service.
The project is part of the dental students’ Inter Professional Engagement (IPE) scheme, which is part of their studies, and sees them interact with a variety of groups within the wider community.
The IPE scheme is run by the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise.
They also helped to improve the referral process, so that those with dental problems caused by smoking get signposted to the Plymouth Stop Smoking Service and dental care as soon as possible.