The Effect of Tobacco on Oral Health

Cartoon stating that smokers are 4 times more likely to lose teeth.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

We don’t think we’re surprising anyone when we say that tobacco isn’t good for your dental health. But do you know the reasons behind that statement? When something like that is repeated often enough, it can be easy to forget the facts that make it true. Here’s a basic primer on the effect of tobacco on oral health.

Dental Issues Caused by Tobacco

Let’s start with some simple things. Using tobacco can lead to bad breath and dental decay. This is because it dries out your mouth. Without enough saliva production, odor-causing and cavity-causing bacteria can’t be washed away. Tobacco can also cause tooth discoloration. This is because the pores in your teeth absorb the nicotine and tar inside of tobacco, leaving yellow or brown stains.

Gum Disease

Tobacco use can also lead to gum disease. Smoking weakens the body’s immune system. This means not only are you more susceptible to infection, but that if there’s an infection in your gums, it’s harder for them to heal. Gum disease, if severe enough, can even lead to tooth loss. Obviously it’s not something that should be pushed aside.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Since tobacco use can lead to oral cancer, it’s in your best interest to get regular oral cancer screenings if you smoke or chew tobacco. During these screenings, we check your lips, around your tongue, elsewhere around your mouth, and your neck for anything abnormal that might signal oral cancer. The great news is that oral cancer is highly treatable once it’s caught early.

Help with Your Oral Health in Cypress, TX

Have more questions? We have answers! Contact Alder Trails Dental today, and our friendly team will be happy to help you in any way that we can. We know it’s not easy to give up tobacco, but your health (both in terms of your smile and your overall body) will thank you for it in the long run.


Alder Trails Dental