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Does smoking affect the health of your teeth?

Updated: Sep 5

Smoking causes stained and yellow teeth, bad breath, and altered sense of taste. Chronic smoking can lower your immune system, increase your risk for gum disease as well is a contributing risk factor for oral cancer.


How to remove smoking stains from teeth? The nicotine and tar in tobacco smoke cause the discolouration and staining of your teeth. Brushing your teeth several times a day can help improve their appearance by reducing superficial stains. Choosing a toothpaste that contains the following ingredients can also help:

  • baking soda

  • hydrogen peroxide

  • activated charcoal

  • coconut oil

Will teeth whiteners work? If your teeth are severely discoloured, brushing alone will not improve their appearance. You can try over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening product- whitening strips or whitening gels. These products will improve the appearance of your teeth, but these products aren’t likely to get your teeth completely white. Depending on the severity of staining, you may need professional teeth cleaning and whitening at the dentists office. Even if professional teeth whitening gets rid of stains, the results won’t last if you continue to smoke. You might need to repeat treatments every year.

How to combat bad breath from smoking In addition to teeth discolouration, chronic smoking causes “Smoker’s breath”. This is caused by early stages of gum disease or dry mouth due to decreased saliva production. To eliminate smoker’s breath:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day.

  • Drink a lot of water to prevent dry mouth.

  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash for dry mouth.

  • Chew sugarless gum.

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar build up. It is recommended to see your dentist every 3-4 months, instead of 6months to reduce your risk for gum disease.

  • Cut back on smoking, or stop altogether.


Are e-cigarettes better for dental health? People believe that vaping is better for oral health since there is no tobacco in e-cigarettes. This is a MYTH! While e-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, the vapor contains nicotine. They also contain other chemicals and heavy metals that are overall bad for your body and teeth. The nicotine in these products can damage gum tissue and reduce saliva production, resulting in bad breath, receding gums, and tooth loss just like traditional cigarettes.


Can smoking damage your teeth or gums? Giving up smoking benefits oral health because it reduces the likelihood of developing gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection that affects the gum line. It develops when tartar and bacteria accumulate below or above the gums, resulting in inflammation. Gum disease is linked with smoking because people who smoke tend to have more tartar on their teeth than nonsmokers. The nicotine in tobacco reduces saliva production, making it easier for tarter and bacteria to build up in the mouth. If I quit smoking, will my teeth get better? Even if you’ve smoked for many years, quitting can improve your oral health and reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth loss. Smokers have approximately 80% higher risk for bone loss and periodontal disease than non-smokers. Bone loss is irreversible. Therefore, even if you stop smoking, you will not regain the lost bone support around your teeth. It’s never too late to quit. Even if you’ve smoked for a long time you’ll still see immediate and long-term benefits once you stop. Quitting smoking doesn’t only protect your teeth. It lowers the risk of:

  • oral cancer

  • lung disease

  • heart disease

  • other health problems

Since smoking weakens the immune system, it also becomes harder for the body to fight the infection. As a result, the bones supporting teeth weaken, causing tooth loss.

Simple, practical ways to quit smoking Like any habit, quitting is difficult and may need several attempts until it becomes a permanent habit. Keep in mind that smoking will not only improve your oral health and teeth appearance, it will also improve your overall health and wellbeing as well as decrease your risks for many diseases. Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid triggers- avoid people and locations where you’re tempted to smoke.

  • Keep busy- Staying busy and distracted can help you manage cravings.

  • Consider nicotine replacement therapy- Using a nicotine patch or chewing nicotine gum can reduce cravings, making it easier to give up smoking.

  • Remind yourself why you’re quitting- wether its to improve your overall health, save money, or for a family member all these are great reasons to stop.

Smoking can have a negative impact on your oral health, increasing your risk for gum disease, tooth loss, bad breath, and oral cancer. The best gift you can give your teeth is to stop smoking. If you’re not ready to quit yet, you can still take care of your teeth. Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss daily. See your dentist at least twice a year to help fight gum disease and prevent teeth stains.

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