Does smoking hurt my teeth?

Smoking has a serious effect on your teeth, gums, and mouth. “Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other forms of tobacco cause oral cancer, gum disease, and other oral health problems.” (CDC, 2020).

Here are some fast facts about tobacco use from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2020):

  • Over 40% of adults aged 20 to 64 who currently smoke cigarettes have untreated tooth decay.
  • Adults aged 65 or older who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay as those who never smoked.
  • About 43% of adults aged 65 or older who currently smoke cigarettes have lost all of their teeth.
  • Use of smokeless tobacco is associated with increased risks of oral cancer and can cause white or gray patches inside the mouth.

Smoking changes the way your teeth look and function, and can even effect your mouth (ADA, 2024).

  • The flow of saliva in your mouth is reduced, increasing your risk for cavities.
  • The chemicals in tobacco smoke irritate your gums and the lining of your mouth.
  • Tobacco use increases the risk for gum disease and loosing teeth.
  • Smoking can cause cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue, or jaw.
  • Tobacco stains your teeth and tongue.
  • Smoking dulls your sense of smell and taste.
  • Smoking causes chronic bad breath.

The best way to ensure optimal oral health (and overall) is to stop smoking. This can be done with support and a plan. It takes time and commitment. At your next dental visit ask for suggestions and support.


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Tobacco Use (

Smoking | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA

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