What Does Smoking Do To Your Smile?

We all know that smoking is bad for us. However, while the majority of us are focusing on the cancer risk or our lungs, what does smoking do to our mouth?

what does smoking do to your smile

It has been estimated that every year in the UK around 96,000 people die from diseases caused by smoking. Also, about half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their addiction.

However, this doesn’t stop us. Many Brits still smoke every day. Its addictive quality isn’t only causing damage to our lungs and bodies, but also to our teeth and mouths. Here are six things oral issues caused by smoking.

Gum disease.

what does smoking do to your smile

Not only does frequent smoking cause yellow teeth (nicotine and tar in tobacco can make your teeth yellow in a very short time) but it also causes gum disease and tooth loss. Smoking has an affect on how your teeth connect to your gums and bone in your jaw. Often resulting in severe gum disease. It’s affect on your gum tissue also leaves you susceptible to infections. Infections, coupled with your disintegrating jaw bone, means you could be at risk of loosing your teeth.

Excessive Tartar.

Tartar is caused when teeth aren’t cleaned properly. The excess of plaque that will build up can be given the opportunity to harden into this scale like substance. This gives the teeth an uneven scaly feel and often leads to gum disease.

Growth of Bacteria.

Smoking results in an increased build-up of bacteria, or plaque, on the teeth which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque caused by smoking can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth beneath the gum and weakens the bone supporting the tooth.

what does smoking do to your smile

Bad Breath.

Weve all heard of the term ‘smokers breath’. It goes without saying that cigarettes will give you bad breath. It’s one of the first issues you develop when you become a smoker. When you smoke particles of the smoke are left behind in your mouth, throat and lungs. Smokers breath is unavoidable.

Patches and Spots in the Mouth.

Often smokers will notice patches and spots in their mouth. Most common is leukoplakia. This is when white or grey patches or spots appear on the cheek, tongue or floor of your mouth. It’s caused by frequent irritation to the tissue in the mouth. The best way to deal with this is obviously to stop smoking. However, brushing twice a day with a fluoride paste, avoiding sugary drinks or food and following your dentists instructions can go a long way to helping.

what does smoking do to your smile

Oral Cancer.

Smoking causes 2 in 3 of every oral cancer case. Every cigarette is encasing thousands of chemicals that turn your cells into cancerous ones. 91% of all oral cancer cases can be cured if they are caught early on. If you want to know what you should be looking for you can read our blog on oral cancer symptoms. 

Smoking is addictive and hard to quit. However, with the use of services provided by the NHS and some strong willpower it can be done.

Oral Cancer Symptoms You Should Watch Out For


  1. Susan Wallace on 13 November 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Hi I smoked for 30 years and quit cold turkey in July 2016 so 4 months smoke free. I can agree that I need to see a dentist soon, I don’t have dental insurance so it’s a challenge to come up with the cash for dental work. I came this far so I really want to go forward with a clean bright white smile ?. Thank you for all this information it certainly helps me.

    • PatriciaDD on 14 November 2016 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for your comment Susan! We’re glad you found our article helpful in some way and we hope you get that white smile you’re looking for!

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