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Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health


Most people know that smoking can be detrimental to your health and that it is a leading cause of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. However, fewer people are as concerned about how smoking can affect their oral health, and it can be a major cause of issues regarding the jawbone, gums, and teeth. Some of the major ways that smoking can damage your overall health are identified below. If you have some of these problems, come see Dr. Matthews.


Oral cancer

If the possibility of contracting lung cancer isn’t enough to scare you out of smoking, it is important to note that tobacco use also increases your likelihood of contracting an oral cancer. It is estimated that 90% of patients who are treated for oral cancer are smokers. You should also be aware that all tobacco products can result in these devastating effects on your oral cavity, including chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipes.


Chronic Bad Breath

Smoking is a major cause of halitosis, or bad breath. It is responsible for giving you dry mouth, but a more common problem is that nicotine and tar can settle into your oral cavity. This can lead to a condition that many people refer to as “smoker’s breath.” Smoking can also lead to gum disease, which may also result in bad breath.


Tooth Discoloration

Smoking is a major cause of tooth discoloration and stains. While veneers or teeth whitening products, such as toothpaste, strips, or professional whitening sessions, can help to remove the stains, these products and procedures can be costly. You will save yourself money by avoiding tobacco products altogether.


Periodontal Disease

Smoking causes interference in gum tissue cell function, and gums can become damaged and separated from the bone. This leaves them open to the possibility of infection, so smokers have a greater chance of developing advanced gum disease than people who do not smoke.



Tobacco increases the dental plaque found within a mouth, and the greater amount of plaque, the more difficult it is to remove. This can result in an increase in tartar and eventual tooth decay.


Tooth Loss

Advanced gum disease will eventually result in deterioration of the bone and ultimately tooth loss. This may require you to wear partial or complete dentures or to have expensive dental work done to try and repair your smile. Save yourself the pain, money, and time by beginning a smoking cessation effort in order to protect your teeth and overall oral health.

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