How Does Smoking Affect My Teeth?

Smoking cigarettes wreaks havoc on a person’s teeth over time. The effects of smoking on the teeth may not be noticeable at first, but the ingredients in cigarettes are taking their toll on the teeth just the same. Smoking causes bad breath, stains on teeth, and can eventually lead to gum disease and tooth loss. In order to have healthy, attractive teeth, it is important not to smoke.

Smoking is a habit that comes at a cost. Cigarette smoking negatively affects a person’s health in general. We have a limited number of adult teeth, and once they’re gone we are left with gaping holes in our smile. Smoking speeds up the aging process on the teeth, and the longer a person smokes, the more their teeth will suffer. Cigarette smoking causes reduced oxygen in the bloodstream, and limit the body’s ability to fight off infections. Without means to fight off bacteria, an invasion of harmful germs is unavoidable.



There are two ingredients in cigarettes that cause staining of teeth: tar and nicotine. Nicotine causes far less staining to teeth than tar does, simply because it is a clear substance that turns yellow when combined with oxygen. Tar is already a dark sticky substance before it combines with oxygen, and thus more potent. Tar not only stains the teeth, but also has the tendency to stain fingers, beards and mustaches.

After a person has been smoking a number of years, the tar buildup on the teeth starts to become noticeable and darker in color. Stains on teeth from smoking aren’t always permanent, but have the tendency to reappear quicker. Luckily, cigarette stains can be removed by a professional. Teeth whitening for cigarette smokers is only a temporary fix if they continue to smoke.

Without the ability to fight off infections and bacteria, a smoker’s mouth will eventually suffer from plaque and tartar buildup with no way of healing. The teeth will become yellow to brown in color from the stains and require a professional whitening treatment.


Tooth Loss

The most devastating consequence a smoker can face is certainly tooth loss. Smoking creates lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, which in turn limits the body’s ability to fight off bacteria. Reduced saliva is also caused by smoking, which in turn, causes bad breath and tooth loss. Roots of the teeth need an adequate blood supply in odor to stay healthy. Lack of this blood flow is what causes smoker’s teeth to become loose.

When the body isn’t able to fend off all the bacteria in the mouth, it tends to breed and spread below the gums. When plaque is left alone it begins to build up and damage teeth, and their roots too. Once the bacteria spreads beneath the gums, it is extremely difficult to get rid of it without the help of a professional. Leaving plaque buildup on the teeth for too long, will result in tooth decay and loss.


Cigarette smoking has many negative effects on a person’s teeth. Smokers are at increased risk for many dental issues, such as staining and tooth loss. The only way to prevent tooth loss and decay from smoking is by cessation. Teeth can stay white and healthy, only if they’re no longer exposed to the harsh effects of tobacco.

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