How Is Smoking Bad for Teeth and Gums?

January 26, 2023 by Salt Lake Dental
Effects of smoking on teeth and gums

Smoking is a habit that has been practiced for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers began to understand the negative impact smoking could have on dental health. Nowadays, smoking is known to be a major contributor to numerous diseases, such as cancer and stroke, as well as a host of other illnesses.

The Effects of Smoking on Teeth and Gums

Smoking has a variety of negative effects on teeth and gums, some of which include:

1: Staining

Smoking can cause yellowing or darkening of the teeth, often referred to as a ‘smoker’s stain’. The tar from smoking sticks to the surfaces of the teeth and accumulates over time, leading to discoloration that can be difficult to remove without professional intervention.

2: Gum Disease

Smoking can also cause gum disease in smokers due to the toxins in cigarette smoke that irritate the gums, resulting in inflammation and infection. Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease in more severe cases, leading to tooth loss and other oral health issues.

3: Mouth Cancer

Smoking has increased the risk of mouth cancer, specifically in the lips, tongue, and throat. Smoking also increases the risk of other cancers, such as lung and throat cancer.

4: Bad Breath

Smoking is notorious for causing bad breath or ‘smoker’s breath’ due to its ability to dry out the mouth, decreasing saliva production. A dry mouth often leads to bacteria growth, resulting in a foul odor emanating from the mouth.


Smoking is a major contributor to dental health problems such as staining, gum disease, mouth cancer, and bad breath. Tobacco smoke has numerous toxins that can cause damage to the teeth and gums, leading to serious health problems over time. Therefore, smokers need to be aware of the dangers smoking poses to their oral health and take steps toward quitting smoking as soon as possible.


Q: How can smoking affect my dental health?

A: Smoking affects dental health in a variety of ways, such as staining teeth, leading to gum disease, increasing the risk of mouth cancer, and resulting in bad breath.

Q: Is smoking directly responsible for cavities?

A: No, smoking does not directly cause cavities, but it increases your risk of tooth decay due to smoking’s impact on gum disease and dry mouth.

Q: What can I do to improve my dental health if I am a smoker?

A: The best thing you can do is to quit smoking as soon as possible, as this will significantly reduce your risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. In the meantime, try to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine, such as brushing twice daily and flossing regularly.