Why Do Smokers Have Such Bad Teeth?

Tobacco is terrible for your whole body. Smoking tobacco leads to various health issues and oral issues. According to research, 24% of the UK grown-up population, i.e., approx 12.5 million people smoke.

It causes severe problems in your lungs and heart. It is the most significant cause of gum diseases, bad breath, tooth loss, and stained teeth. Let’s have a look at why smokers have bad teeth.

1.) Tooth Discoloration

  • Your white pearly teeth will have discoloration due to smoking. It happens due to the regular smoking of tobacco.
  • Almost twenty-eight percent of tobacco smokers face severe tooth discoloration as compared to nonsmokers.
  • Noticing their stained teeth makes the smokers more dissatisfied than the nonsmokers. Even if you are not a pack-a-day type of smoker, regular smoking turns your teeth to a brown or yellow shade.
  • The amount of smoke and the duration of using tobacco products plays a vital role in how stained your teeth would become.

2.) Creates plaque

  • The compounds in tobacco items affect the flow of saliva in the mouth, which makes teeth and gums more susceptible to oral bacteria.
  • Teeth laden with bacteria leads to plaque development along the gum line and teeth.
  • The plaque can harden known as calculus, which, if not cleaned daily, becomes challenging to remove without professional supervision.
  • The plaque, if not cleaned timely, can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel and gradually lead to cavities.

3.) Tooth Decay

Smoking tobacco causes large cavities around the gum line leading to infections and brittle teeth. A broken tooth needs replacing, which is a costly and painful affair.

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4.) Periodontal Disease

  • Periodontal(gum) disease is a disease of the gums and affects the structure of the bone that holds your teeth. Research shows that smoking is one of the causes of gum disease.
  • Due to this, smokers have a higher probability of getting a periodontal disease or gum disease that invades the roots of the teeth and causing tooth loss.
  • You will notice periodontal disease when you have a sore mouth, red gums, and bleeding gums.
  • The earlier you detect gum disease, the higher the chances of reversing it.

5.) Bone Damage

  • Long-term smoking can worsen gum disease. The infection spreads to the tissue and into the bone, which makes it weaker.
  • If you do not handle periodontal disease timely, it can lead to bone damage, which can be irreversible.
  • Sometimes surgical intervention is necessary to treat the damaged bone. In these cases, surgeries like bone grafts and restorative surgery become necessary.

6.) Tooth Loss

Tooth loss happens once you are affected by periodontal disease. According to a study, male smokers lose 2.9 teeth for every ten years of smoking, whereas female smokers lose 1.5 teeth per decade.

The research conducted to find the relationship between tooth loss and smoking found that the rate of tooth loss is twice in smokers than in nonsmokers.

Nonsmokers lost an aggregate of 1.3 teeth after ten years. Female smokers who burned one pack a day were twice as likely to lose teeth than nonsmokers.

Smoking makes gums weaker, and they are less likely to hold the teeth in place. As a result, smokers can suffer from tooth loss.

7.) Reduced blood circulation

  • According to NHS UK, smoking tobacco affects the blood circulation in your mouth. It causes a lack of oxygen supply in the blood.
  • As a result, if you smoke, your gum tissues are susceptible to infections and take a longer time to heal.
  • Any healing after oral surgery, such as treatment for gum disease, dental implants, or tooth extraction, takes a long time.
  • The recovery process becomes complicated. Even the gums of smokers easily bleed when they brush or floss. Weaker gums lead to tooth loss too.

8.) Leads to Oral Cancer

  • The use of tobacco either in smokeless or smoke form increases your risk of getting cancer. According to this study, around 90% of the people who have cancer of the throat, mouth, tongue, lips, and gums have got the disease from consuming tobacco or from smoking tobacco.
  • Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers. Hence, if you see an ulcer in your mouth, get it checked by your nearest physician or dentist.
  • Also, cancer in your oral cavity becomes more dangerous as there are many blood vessels and lymph nodes in your head and neck area.


The above pointers show that smoking can be very detrimental to your teeth and gums. Some other ill effects of smoking on your oral health are bad breath, loss of taste, ulcers in your mouth, dentures not fitting in properly, and inflammation around your teeth.

Therefore, to maintain healthy teeth brush and floss regularly, and quit smoking or taking tobacco. You can try nicotine patches or take the help of support groups to quit your habit of smoking and to enjoy better dental health.

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