Tobacco and Your Dental Health


It is common knowledge that smoking and tobacco use have harmful impact on general health. What most people do not know is how exactly tobacco affects our teeth and gums. In addition to lung cancer, COPD and emphysema, smokers are at higher risk of developing oral health problems. Let’s take a look at some of the ways tobacco can affect your dental health:

  • Smoking and use of tobacco cause higher tartar levels due to decreased saliva production, staining of teeth and decay.
  • Tobacco use can worsen existing periodontal problems. Smokers tend to experience more severe bone loss and deeper pockets between their teeth and gums. This means that oral problems like gum recession and tooth loss tends to be more severe in smokers than in non-smokers.
  • Smoking hinders the healing process in your mouth. It also prevents your existing oral problems from healing as desired.
  • Smokers tend to have poor bone healing, which hinders the success of dental implants. In fact, they also have a poorer response to dental surgery treatments as compared to non-smokers.
  • Smokers tend to develop dry socket, an extremely painful condition, following extraction of teeth.
  • Getting dental crowns and bridges may not be a good idea for people who use tobacco on a regular basis. With higher risks of bone loss and gum recession, crowns and bridges may not last long for those who smoke.

Tobacco use and oral cancer

Oral cancer seems to be a problem in people who use tobacco regularly. In fact, non-smokers are six times less likely to develop this issue than smokers. A huge majority (about 90%) of mouth cancer and throat cancer patients have used tobacco.

In fact, more than 30% of people who do not quit tobacco use after undergoing cancer treatment will suffer from this condition for the second time.