The Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health

April 5, 2017

Over the years, we have been made aware of the risks that smoking tobacco can pose to our general health. But what about our oral health? Here we list some of the effects that smoking can have on the state of your oral health:


Smoking can alter the bacteria in dental plaque, making it more harmful. This could have a number of effects on your oral hygiene including increasing the risk of cavities, decay and bad breath. Often smokers find that the smell of tobacco lingers on their breath and many people can find this off-putting and increases the perception of poor oral hygiene. Studies have also found that smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to lose teeth in the five years after receiving Periodontal treatment, suggesting that smoking can hamper the effects of oral hygiene treatments.



Smoking has also been linked to poor gum health, which can lead to severe gum disease – the major cause of tooth loss. In addition, smoking links to increased bone loss in the jaw, with studies finding that bone loss was five times greater in current and former smokers, compared with non-smokers. This, combined with its effect on your gum health, can also cause problems for people considering Dental Implant treatment, as implants are more likely to need bone grafts to bind them in place and are more likely to fail in smokers.



Smoking can also cause yellowing of your teeth, dulling their natural white shine. Stopping smoking can reduce the build-up of stains on your teeth and make maintaining a fresh, white looking smile that bit easier – as long as you keep up with other aspects of your oral hygiene routine of course!



Just like with other aspects of your general health, smoking can be linked to oral cancer, showing an increased risk of oral cancer in smokers. 


For help and advice on quitting smoking, speak to you GP, Dentist or Pharmacist, or contact the NHS Stop Smoking Service.