What To Know About Smoking and Your Oral Health

20 April 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Are you someone that likes to smoke, even if it is occasionally? If so, you'll want to know some of the risks to your oral health that come along with smoking.

Tooth Staining

One potential risk of smoking that you can actually see is visible tooth staining. Smokers tend to have yellowing that forms near the gum line of their teeth. This is due to the tar and nicotine found in cigarettes, which actually absorbs into your enamel. It's hard to get rid of, and it may require professional whitening to restore your smile

Gum Disease

Be aware that smoking is also going to increase your risk of having gum disease. This happens because smoking deprives your gums of oxygen in the bloodstream, which is going to make it harder for your gums to heal naturally. They'll be more susceptible to gum disease, which the gums would heal from on their own from infections that you would normally get and go away naturally. The more that you smoke will increase the risk of gum disease over time.

Tooth Decay

All of that smoking can also lead to tooth decay. You may notice that smoking gives you a bit of dry mouth after you are finished, but what you may not realize is how dry mouth can lead to cavities. If you do not have much saliva in your mouth, all of that bacteria is going to cling to the surfaces of your teeth instead of washing away naturally. This will lead to more cavities forming on your teeth.

Tooth decay is not limited to having dry mouth. If you prefer to smoke marijuana over cigarettes, you will likely want to snack more after smoking. Simply consuming more junk food with sugar is going to lead to a higher risk of tooth decay, especially when it is combined with dry mouth.

Oral Cancer

Even if you smoke occasionally, it's important to let your dentist know when you visit for your semi-annual exam. That is because you have a higher risk of forming oral cancer than someone that doesn't smoke. In fact, cigarette smokers are 10 times more likely to have oral cancer than those that do not smoke. While your dentist will always screen for oral cancer, it's a good thing to have on file so that they can look closely for changes over time.

Reach out to a dentist such as John B Webster DDS for more information on how smoking can impact your oral health.