Smoking and Oral Health

Mar 17, 2017

As you may know, smoking has detrimental effects on your general health. But did you know it affects your oral health as well? There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals! At least 69 of these chemicals are carcinogenic (i.e. cause cancer) and many are poisonous.

The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

  • Increased risk and severity of Periodontitis (gum disease), which will lead to tooth loss;
  • An increased risk of oral cancer;
  • Staining of teeth which prevents you from having a beautiful white smile;
  • Halitosis (bad breath);
  • Delayed healing in the mouth after surgical procedures (such as dry sockets after extractions);
  • A lower success rate for implants; and
  • A dulled sense of taste and smell.

Smokeless Tobacco

Did you know that smokeless tobacco has the same effect (if not worse) than smoking? This is because the patch directly contacts the tissue inside the mouth. This means that the tobacco and all the other harmful chemicals are directly absorbed through the supporting system of the tooth including the gum, bone, and ligament. This can lead to gum disease and an increased risk of oral cancer (as well as the other negative effects mentioned above).

Passive Smoking

Passive smoking (also called second-hand smoking) is the inhalation of smoke by a person other than the active smoker. Passive smoking carries the same risk associated with smoking to non-smokers. These risks can be even greater for non-smokers as they are more vulnerable to the chemicals from the smoke. Therefore, as a smoker, you are not only damaging your health but you are also endangering the health of those around you such as your loved ones.

What Should You Do?

It is important to note that the more you smoke, the more likely these negative effects will occur, so even reducing the amount you smoke can help improve your oral health.

If you are thinking of quitting smoking but you don’t know where to start, please check out Quitline and they will help you regain your healthy lifestyle: