How Does Smoking Affect Your Teeth?

Approximately 15 million people smoke in Turkey, which corresponds to 23% of the total population. You wouldn’t believe it, but it has been determined that around 130 million cigarettes are smoked a day. Although this number is gradually decreasing, the number of people at risk due to smoking is also quite high.

What does smoking do to your teeth? Tobacco damages your teeth in many ways. Smoking lowers your mouth’s ability to fight infections; This makes you vulnerable to bacteria caused by smoking. When your mouth can’t fight back, dental plaque and bacteria take over.

Increased plaque and bacteria cause many problems in oral health:

Tooth discoloration:

Yellowed or stained teeth are the most visible dental problems of smokers. Chemicals in tobacco attach to tooth enamel and cause it to stain over time. Although teeth whitening treatments can help slow this process, if you continue to smoke, it becomes impossible to completely stop the yellowing of your teeth.

Bad breath:

The phrase “you smell like an ashtray” actually describes the state of smokers’ breath very well. After smoking, the cigarette particles stay in the mouth for a longer period of time, which makes your breath carry the smell of cigarettes.

In addition, the long-term effects of smoking also affect bad breath. Bacteria that occur in large numbers in the mouth of the smoker cause bad breath. Unfortunately, the frequency of tooth brushing and mouthwash also does not help in eliminating bad breath, because the smell is caused by unhealthy gums, oral sores and decay. The only way to get rid of all these problems completely is to quit smoking completely and to solve the existing problems together with your dentist.

Prolonged smoking also causes inflammation of the salivary glands; This causes painful facial swelling and may require an operation if salivary gland stones have formed.

Gum Diseases

Smokers are twice as prone to gum disease. This risk increases with every cigarette you smoke, and if you continue to use it, you will not get results from the treatments.

So why? Smoking reduces your mouth’s capacity to fight bacteria and allows them to settle and multiply on both your teeth and gums. If left untreated, the gums can recede from the teeth and weaken the roots of the teeth. The most serious form of this is periodontitis. Periodontitis is the destruction of the bones and tissues that hold the tooth in place, eventually causing the tooth to be lost.

Tooth loss can happen in smokers because their mouth never has enough time to heal. Smoking also prevents treatments such as brushing, flossing, mouth rinsing and tartar removal from being effective against gum diseases.

Prolonged treatment processes

Unfortunately, the bad news for smokers does not end there.

Smoking not only causes consequences such as tooth loss and the need for an operation, but also delays the results of treatment processes. Smoking also affects the success rate of dental implant treatments.

The longer your mouth is vulnerable to these threats, the more likely it is to develop further complications. A dentist will do the necessary work to reduce these effects as much as possible, but quitting smoking will be the best cooperation method for the treatment process.

Oral cancer:

The worst outcome associated with smoking is oral cancer. According to the data of the World Health Organization, 40 thousand people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually and unfortunately 12 thousand people die from these patients. It is estimated that about 80% of diagnosed patients are smokers. This risk increases when smoking is combined with heavy alcohol intake.

Oral cancer can be detected by white or red sores in the mouth, difficulty chewing and swallowing, numbness in the jaw, and even ear pain. These symptoms can be caused by different reasons, but people who have these symptoms for more than two weeks should definitely go through a doctor’s control. We should not forget that the earlier cancer is detected, the more effective the treatment.


As we mentioned earlier, your dentist will apply the necessary treatments to resolve the ailments associated with smoking, but the only way to completely get rid of these ailments is to quit smoking. Considering that the mouth is not the only area affected by smoking in our body, the healthiest solution would be to make every effort to stay away from smoking.

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