How Smoking Affects Your Teeth—And What to Do About It

Rosie Jeffers
July 19, 2023

Imagecredit: freepik


If you want to preserve your beautiful smile, you must stop smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking can elevate your risk for nearly every oral condition and lower your success rates with many dental treatments. Studies have revealed that exposure to tobacco smoke can impair the protective host response to dental plaque biofilm and increase the production of destructive inflammatory cytokines and enzymes in your mouth.

As a result, cigarette smoking can negatively impact the health of your teeth over time. Here’s what you need to know about the effects of smoking on your teeth and the possible solutions that can help you mitigate these effects:

The Effects of Smoking on Your Teeth

Your teeth are one of the body parts most exposed to cigarette smoke. Consequently, it’s not surprising that your teeth may rapidly change in appearance and condition.

One of the most noticeable effects of smoking is yellowing teeth. The nicotine and the tar in tobacco can stain your teeth and make them yellow, even if you rarely smoke cigarettes or are just starting out. However, a study on the adverse oral health outcomes from tobacco use warns that chronic smokers are at high risk of having one or more of their teeth removed and having loose teeth. Cigarette smoking can increase bacteria, plaque, and tartar build-up in your mouth and cause your teeth to develop cavities or experience decay. Once the decay worsens due to smoking, your teeth may loosen up. Unfortunately, this can lead to tooth loss if you continue to aggravate the build-up of bacteria, plaque, and tartar in your teeth due to smoking.

How Smokers Can Improve Their Dental Health

Quit your smoking habit You can quit smoking successfully through nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) using products with low doses of nicotine to reduce your dependence on cigarettes.

One of the products that you can use as an NRT is a nicotine patch from Nicotex or CVS, which are available in various strength levels. You can start with the 21mg variant, then gradually transition to the 14mg and 7mg variants as the cigarette cravings reduce. Another popular option is the nicotine pouch, which is tobacco-free and made with flavorings and food-grade fillers, and without the chemicals from cigarettes that can affect your teeth. The nicotine pouches on Prilla demonstrate how the top brands, ZYN, On!, and VELO, have various benefits when it comes to smoking cessation. In relation to teeth, On! nicotine pouches are clean and discreet and won't stain your teeth like regular chewing tobacco. This makes them ideal for those who are concerned about their teeth appearance as they cut down on their nicotine intake. These NRT products can stop you from giving in to your cigarette cravings and help you protect your oral health over time.

Seek the right dental services

You can reverse or at least reduce the negative impacts of smoking through various dental services.

Teeth whitening is one of the services you can consider, especially if you have yellow teeth stains from cigarette smoking. Whitening services can make your teeth look cleaner, which can help boost your confidence in yourself. You may also make a better first impression among many people because whiter teeth tend to be more attractive compared to yellow teeth. You can also consider dental treatments that address tooth decay in smokers. Fluoride treatments can restore the enamel in cavities that have just started, while fillings can treat any decay that has already progressed.

Visit your dentist regularly

Smoking can increase your risk for numerous dental conditions. As such, smokers need to make regular visits to the dentist. Your dentists can spot any health problems early, especially if you visit them every six to twelve months. They can also teach you how to properly care for your teeth and manage your risks for multiple dental conditions.

Smoking can lead to serious dental problems. So before you experience any decay or loosening in your teeth, you must quit smoking and seek help from your dentist.