You deserve a healthy smile, not a burning cigarette


It's a well-known fact that smoking has a considerable impact on your overall health. Even if the number of people who are smoking is decreasing, there are still a lot of smoke-related deaths every year. Smoking and other related tobacco products are major risk factors responsible for an increasing number of dental diseases. Smoking is a habit that harms the state of the organs along with the tissues of your oral cavity. If you want a healthy and beautiful smile, refrain from smoking. If you are not feeling comfortable with the feel or look of your teeth, then book an appointment with your dentist today.

What effects does smoking have on your teeth?

For your teeth to remain healthy, they must be bounded by muscular gum tissue. When you smoke, your gum tissue is highly affected. It irritates the soft tissues of your oral cavity and causes inflammation of the gums, promoting bacterial growth that in turn results in tooth decay and gum problems. 

The smoke consists of various toxins and microparticles of tar of tobacco. When you smoke these microparticles settle down painting/ staining the whole enamel dark. It is difficult to remove tobacco tar from your teeth and over time its deposition may result in unpleasant smells. Many smokers think it's easy to remove the dark plague from their teeth with the help of toothpaste and professional teeth whitening. But in truth, toothpaste does not provide you with the required whiteness, and you need repeated teeth whitening to get that perfect whiteness.

Visible effect

Your teeth suffer when you smoke. The smoke produced from the cigarette exposes your teeth to dangerous toxins that you are inhaling. These toxins reduce the strength of your teeth and weaken them over time. You can differentiate a smoker's mouth vs non-smoker's with the below symptoms:

  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry mouth
  • Hardening of plague
  • Bleeding gums

Even after experiencing the above symptoms, if you continue to smoke, then you are putting yourself at risk for

  • Enamel loss
  • Decay
  • Root canals
  • Tooth loss


So, it is often recommended whenever you start noticing those symptoms. Consult your dentist, who can offer you essential tips and suggestions along with necessary dental care.

Hidden effects

Gum disease is one of the prevailing issues that smokers face. It is because smoke from cigarettes promotes bacterial growth that starts building up in your mouth harming your gums. It allows bacteria to penetrate into your gums causing periodontal disease. Bacteria production enhances because of the nicotine present in the cigarette that decreases the oxygen carried to the gums or the soft tissues present in your mouth. The effects are quite similar to chronic dry mouth. Furthermore, there is decreased immune response, nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels so that gums will not bleed much, making it difficult for the dentist to diagnose. Some of the effects of smoking on your gums are

  • Redness
  • Loosen teeth
  • decay
  • sensitivity
  • Oozing between teeth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Declining gums

If you are experiencing these symptoms or having severe pain in your gums, you need to contact your dentist immediately.

Some other adverse effects of smoking on your oral and dental health include:

  • Loss of smell and taste: With smoking, your sense of smell and taste can diminish. The cigarette tar leads to stubborn tooth stains and discolored tongues and causes halitosis.
  • Weak immune system: A smoker's immune system gradually compromises, which leads to weak defense against several oral diseases, and they need a long recovery time from surgical processes.
  • Tooth loss and tooth decay: When you fail to brush your teeth on time, do not remove the smoker's bloom, and do not cure your gum disease, then periodontal disease increases so much that your teeth start falling out. Smoking aggravates the whole process, opposing your efforts to cure periodontitis.
  • Mouth ulcers and mouth sores: These are some of the common issues of your oral health highly prevalent among smokers.
  • Gum decline: Smokers' mouth suffers from gum disease and often experience declining gums that expose the crown margins. This can make oral hygiene very difficult and alters the aesthetic appearance of their crowns.
  • Cancer: Exposure to some of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco leads to mutations of healthy cells of your throat and mouth, enhancing the risk of oral cancer. The increase in the number of tobacco smoked increases the chance of developing these cancers. After recovering from cancer successfully, if you fail to abandon smoking, you can face relapses of diseases.
  • Smoking delays healing: Smokers might face complications during any dental process. This is true for tooth removal, teeth implantation, complicated surgical procedures in your oral cavity, and patient rehabilitation during the post-surgical period. The healing path becomes complicated and slow.
  • Smoking after dental surgery is dangerous: Do not make the mistake of smoking after you have undergone dental surgery, including tooth extraction. It enhances the risk of a dry socket or alveolitis. For example, after tooth extraction, a blood clot is usually created in the space where the tooth is extracted, that is having the blood supply with  the nerve endings and the bone will get disturbed which can cause necrosis of bone and constant pain. Smoking hinders successful healing and prohibits blood clot formation. With this, the bone and nerve endings are vulnerable. This leads to infection, pain, bad breath, and bad taste sensations.


Even if you have a significant smoking history, it's never too late to quit smoking. the condition of your teeth can return to normal. And if you are not a heavy smoker, then the condition of your teeth can become healthy faster.


Tips for smokers to care for their teeth and gums

  • You should brush your teeth twice a day to clean your teeth, tongue, and gums using a brush and toothbrush.
  • Post meals, make use of dental floss.
  • Never allow your mouth to go dry. It leads to the formation of microcracks and cavities. Drink a minimum of 2 liters to 3 liters of water.
  • Go for regular dental visits. This helps in the detection of diseases earlier.
  • Try to quit smoking
  • If you cannot quit smoking altogether, you can try to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day or use tobacco chewing gums. 
  • If you have still not left smoking and continue to smoke, your teeth require premium quality and proper care to keep them in good condition. Your dentist can assist you.
  • Depend on your support system: Use your friends, health professionals, and family to help you along.
  • Produce distractions: When an urge to smoke comes, you can try to focus on something else.
  • Take medicines as necessary: Consult with your doctor about the advantages of taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Visit a dentist regularly where they usually check to see whether or not your teeth and gums are healthy. They can spot all lesions or any other irregularities that may have developed. Smokers need to have a dental consultation with a good dentist. When your teeth become easily stained, and dental plagues grow faster, it's time to visit a good dentist. If you can't decide which dentist is best for you, then It is the best option for you. 



About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

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