What Does Smoking Do to Your Teeth?

What Does Smoking Do to Your Teeth?

Dec 23, 2022

To most people, it is clear that smoking can have unfavorable effects on our oral health. However, it is not surprising that people are not yet convinced of the damage it can cause. Smoking exposes our teeth to nicotine and tobacco, leading to bad breath and stained or yellow teeth. Cigarettes also reduce your mouth’s defense against infections, leaving it vulnerable to the bacteria produced by smoking. At Fox Creek Dental by Espire Westminster, we know that you find value in your smile, and we, as dentistry, are ready to help you protect your teeth for years to come. Use this article to learn how harmful smoking can be to your teeth and mouth and what you can do to prevent the harm.

Increased Chance of Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontitis is a significant cause of tooth loss in adults. Smoking is a major cause of gum disease. Its progression is faster in chronic smokers, and as a smoker, you will not only lose your tooth but also have less successful dental implant procedures. Gum diseases start with bacterial growth in the mouth for both smokers and non-smokers. Despite people being genetically susceptible to gum disease, smoking increases the chances of periodontitis since you are constantly introducing bacteria into your mouth.

As you puff that cigarette, plaque builds up, and the bacteria increases. As a result, you will experience gum inflammation and more blood in your saliva or toothbrush while brushing. This is the onset of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. With periodontitis, pockets are formed between your teeth and gums. Bacteria and debris collect in the pockets, and the infection sets in. A non-smoker’s immune system is strong enough to fight off the infection. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for smokers whose immune system has been compromised.

Tooth Discoloration

The discoloration is an immediate and noticeable effect of smoking. Regular tobacco use will darken your pearly whites to yellow or brown whether you are a pack-a-day smoker or not. How does this come to be? You may wonder. Nicotine is colorless but will turn yellow when it interacts with oxygen. Since your teeth have a porous surface, they will absorb the yellow color and eventually lose their appeal. Tobacco stains can be difficult to remove since they take a long time to develop and set into your teeth. When the discoloration is deep into the enamel, professional teeth whitening use of porcelain vases can brighten your smile once again. For professional teeth whitening, visit our dental office near you.

Increased Risk of Oral Cancer

Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. While oral cancer can easily be treated if detected early, it can be aggressive and deadly in its late stages. Quitting smoking is a preventative measure to reduce oral cancer risk. Talk to our Westminster dentist today about how you can start your smoking cessation strategy.

Excess Tartar and Plaque

Chemicals found in cigarettes limit the flow of bacteria in the mouth. Saliva is essential to a healthy mouth since it helps clear plaque and debris. Lower saliva levels in the mouth make it easy for bacteria to thrive. Our dentist in Westminster states that it’s critical for one to remove plaque daily. Otherwise, it will harden into tartar below your gumline.

Slow Healing

Smoking will interfere with your body’s natural healing process. It will restrict blood flow, limiting the nutrients and oxygen your body receives throughout. This leads to slow and inefficient healing in your body, including the mouth. As a result, infections, cuts, and sores in your oral tissues will take much longer to heal.

Bad Breath

Your breath smells like an ashtray. That is one saying that holds with smokers. After smoking, cigarette particles remain in the mouth and can cause your mouth to smell like one. Generally, bad breath is a long-term side effect of smoking. In addition, the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth will cause horrible breath. While brushing and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can eliminate the smell coming from oral sores and decay, avoiding smoking will entirely work.


Despite the shape your teeth are in at the moment due to smoking, your dentist can help you treat and revert the crisis. While it may be difficult to quit this bad habit, it will be rewarding once you do.

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