Smoking & Your Dental Health

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40 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, and about 4.7 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Each year, nearly half a million Americans die prematurely of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, making tobacco use the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.

Each year, the United States spends nearly $170 billion on medical care to treat smoking-related diseases in adults. Outside of fatality statistics, smoking adversely affects the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth.

Bad Breath

We’re sure you’ve heard of smoker’s breath. Tar and nicotine from cigarettes settle in your oral cavity, resulting in halitosis. Outside of unpleasant breath, smoking can also cause dry mouth. With little or no saliva being created in your mouth, your body’s natural ability to break down food, swallow and cleanse your mouth of the acids and bacteria that attack your teeth is diminished.

Gum Disease

As smoking weakens the attachment of bone and gums to your teeth, smokers are more prone to infections such as periodontal disease. Advanced stages of this disease lead to bone deterioration and tooth loss.

Yellow Teeth

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Discolored, yellow teeth are a direct result of smoking. Although stained teeth can be addressed with tooth whitening treatments or veneers, it means more out-of-pocket expenses for the smoker.


Smokers have a greater amount of dental plaque than non-smokers. The more you smoke, the more dental plaque you will have and the harder it will be to remove AND the greater your chances of experiencing tooth decay.

Oral Cancer

Smoking significantly raises your risk of developing oral cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, throat, salivary glands, tongue or lip. Around two in every three (more than 60%) mouth cancers are linked to smoking.

Remember, it is never too late to quit and make positive changes not only to your dental health but your overall physical well-being. If you have questions about the effect of smoking on your dental health, feel free to call the office at 248.852.3130 or ask at your next dental check-up.

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