How Can Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

How Can Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

Smoking affects virtually every part of your body. It causes damage not only to your lungs but to your oral health, as well. Cigarette and cigar smoke contains nearly 4,000 chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene, and tar. These chemicals can irritate and damage the soft tissues of the mouth. 

Smoking can cause oral issues like:

Gum Disease

Smoking promotes gum disease, which can result in tooth loss.

Smoking puts you at a higher risk of developing gum disease. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-smokers. Smoking also affects your saliva production. Since saliva helps to remove plaque when you chew, smokers may be more prone to plaque buildup. This plaque can lead to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

Gum disease can also contribute to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss for American adults.

Gum disease can lead to a number of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. These health issues may be more severe for smokers than non-smokers.

The best way to quit smoking is to enlist the help of a healthcare professional. Your dentist may recommend quitting smoking to avoid further oral health issues.

Dry Mouth

Smoking is also harmful to your oral tissues. It causes dry mouth, which can increase the chances of developing dental caries or cavities.

Oral Cancer

Smoking can lead to many oral and overall health problems, including oral cancer. In fact, smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancer. Smoking causes many changes in the oral environment, such as reduced saliva production, increased plaque buildup, and discoloration of the teeth and gums. All of these factors can increase the risk of developing oral cancer.

Bad Breath

Tobacco products can cause bad breath. The odor from tobacco products comes from chemicals in the tobacco, as well as bacteria that build up on your tongue and between your teeth.

The odor from tobacco products is typically worse in the morning. This is because the odor from bacteria is strongest when you’re asleep and because while you are sleeping, saliva production decreases. Saliva helps rinse away bacteria and food particles, so you may have bad breath in the morning if you haven’t brushed or flossed your teeth.

Teeth Stains

Tobacco smoke contains hundreds of chemicals, including tar and nicotine. Tar is what gives cigarettes their color, and nicotine is the addictive chemical in cigarettes that keep smokers hooked. When tar and nicotine are inhaled, they can cause yellow and brown stains on your teeth.

Jawbone Loss

Smoking is a common cause of periodontitis, a gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Smoking also makes it much harder to keep any teeth you do have in your mouth, as smoking increases the speed at which plaque builds up on your teeth, increases your risk of developing oral cancer, and decreases your blood flow. This makes healing harder for your gums and bones, which are already under attack from bacteria.

Get in touch with Peak Family Dentistry at 4933 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37411, or call (423) 899-1948 to schedule an appointment for the best dental care based on your specific needs.


4933 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: (423) 899-1948


  • MON - TUE: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • WED: Closed
  • THU: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI - SUN: Closed
Contact Us

9638 E Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421

Phone: (423) 899-1948


  • MON - WED: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THU: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • SAT - SUN: Closed
Contact Us
phone icon

Call Now!