10 Ways Smoking Affects Oral Health

10 Ways Smoking Affects Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 37.8 million adults in the United States are smokers. Dentistry of las colinas. Furthermore, a whopping 16 million Americans live with some form of smoking-related diseases.

While the habit inflicts damage on your organs, it also affects your mouth, gums, and teeth. Here are some ways in which smoking affects oral health:

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Stained teeth

Tobacco stains teeth. The nicotine found in cigarettes turns yellow when exposed to oxygen. This settles into your teeth, making them appear discolored. E-cigarettes have the same effect too!

Tooth decay

Smoking deteriorates oral health in a number of ways. Plaque buildup is the highest among smokers. This ultimately leads to tooth decay and loss of teeth.

Enamel erosion

Enamel is a protective layer on your teeth. Smoking has a detrimental effect on this layer. Damage on the enamel is irreversible. The reduced saliva production causes harmful particles to stick to the surface of your teeth. These are microscopic in nature. Since there is less saliva to wash it down, these particles are given more time to attack the enamel.

Diminished taste

A new study suggested that smoking reduces the functioning of your taste buds, affects vascularization, or the formation of blood vessels, making food less palatable.

A research in Greece with 62 subjects—an average age of 25, half of whom were smokers—were tested for taste sensitivity, the number and shape of taste buds. It was concluded that the taste buds on smokers’ tongues were flatter as opposed to the taste buds on that of nonsmokers’.

Dry mouth

Saliva is important for digestion of food, but did you know it is needed for oral hygiene? Saliva washes away harmful bacteria that can latch onto teeth. Tobacco reduces saliva production which is why you feel the need to rehydrate.

Any food, drink, or foreign particles won’t get washed away when you are experiencing dry mouth. Your oral health is, therefore, affected.

Strong odor

You can smell smoke on someone even if they are at a distance. The smell of smoke never leaves. The chemicals in tobacco can cause breath to stink. Tooth decay and gum disease caused by smoking can also be a cause for bad breath.


Leukoplakia is the white patches that appear on the inside of the mouth. These patches are caused by smoking and can harden over time. They are painless but are sensitive to heat. These lesions can turn out to be cancerous in nature, requiring a biopsy.

Gum disease

Smoking damages the cells of your gums. The residue from smoking also nestles itself deep into the crevices of your gums. This leads to progressive periodontitis. Tobacco can also cause tartar buildup on the gums that cause other gum diseases.

Delayed healing

Tobacco affects the healing properties of your mouth negatively. Slower healing from cuts, scrapes, bleeding gums, surgery, or tooth extraction can increase the risk of infection.

Root canals

Research shows that smokers are twice as likely to require a root canal than a nonsmoker. Due to the delayed healing caused by tobacco, your downtime will most likely be longer too.

If you are a smoker, it is essential for you to schedule regular checkups. Our team will keep a close eye on your dental health. Rabile Family Dentistry is one of the most reputed and trusted dental clinics in Irving, TX. We provide dental services like Fastbraces, Veneers, implants, and more.

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