Oral Health and Smoking

The modern world is not ideal. From a very young age, we are exposed to cigarette usage by people that surround us, TV, or advertising. According to research by WHO, one-third of youngsters use tobacco because of a cigarette promotion on different platforms. Apart from that, 78% of youth at the age between 13-15 regularly get exposed to different kinds of tobacco advertisements. To prevent youth from smoking a lot of countries ban cigarette advertising. However, data from the WHO shows that only 43% of the world population is secured with some form of a ban. Furthermore, countries such as Brazil, Panama, Turkey, Ireland, UK, Malta, Iran, and Northern Ireland implemented very strong bans. 


Why do people smoke? Everyone has their reasons, but a lot of them might think that they will face the circumstances later on. If you are a smoker and believe that smoking will not affect your health, or you believe you can quit it at any minute, you can have a thousand excuses but the impact of tobacco on your health varies; starting from bad breath to several types of cancer. Here is what you can face real time and later on, starting from seemingly basic ones. 

Here is the list:

  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth Discoloration
  • Increase of plaque and tartar on the teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Longer healing
  • Taste and smell distraction
  • Oral Cancer

Bad Breath

All of us face bad breath in the morning or after food consumption when bacteria accumulate in or mouth and generate bad breath. So, we usually do everything in our hands to fix it by brushing our teeth, chewing gum, or being careful with what we eat. 

Imagine talking to a person that has bad breath. No matter how good talker that person is, it will be distracting enough to keep a distance. For smokers, the bad breath is a result of cigarette usage, and almost no one brushes their teeth each time after smoking, and gum does not save as well; it can make everything even worse. 

To prevent bad breath, smokers can use mouthwashes. Still, the effect is not long lasting, as the saliva flow can diminish mouthwash effect and the bad breath not only comes from the mouth but the lungs as well. Thus, when you exhale the smell can be there again. Not talking about the fact that mouthwashes have alcohol in them that can cause a dry mouth, because of which bacteria grow, generating a bad breath and those without alcohol have other harmful effects. 

Isn’t it better to just quit smoking and have fresh breath?

Tooth Discoloration

One of the main reasons why we brush our teeth is to have a whiter smile. From ancient times people wanted to have whiter teeth. For example, Romans used urine to whiten tooth color changetheir teeth as ammonia has a bleaching compound in it. Thankfully and hopefully there are various whitening toothpaste and dentists do professional whitening. White teeth and being healthy are not in a cause and effect relationship but stained teeth because of smoking is something to be concerned about. Not only for aesthetic reasons but simply it is the first harm by tobacco usage that you will notice by eye. 
As cigarettes have chemical elements, those adhere to the tooth surface and leave blemishes over time. In these cases, whitening in home conditions will not help, as a dentist should polish and then whiten. Not quitting afterward will be a vicious circle, as your teeth will get stained again and again. 

Gum Disease 

When a person smokes saliva flow gets distracted, and in consequence, bacteria accumulate on the teeth creating plaque on the teeth and around the gum line. If you do not take good care of your oral hygiene, it can harden and become tartar that is not removable without the interference of professionals. Tartar makes gums weaker and exposed to infections because of which gums can bleed, get inflammation that is evidence of gum disease.

Gum or periodontal disease is a condition when bone structure under teeth gets weaker and can lead to tooth loss. According to conducted research, the main reason for gum disease is smoking, and if you continue smoking, it will be harder to cure it. 


Nicotine narrows blood vessels, and as a result, the flow of blood into the tissues decreases. It creates a lack of oxygen, and tissues are not able to maintain life. As a result, the healing process gets slower; that is why, before some surgeries, smokers are suggested quitting smoking. Also, that is the reason why, for example, gum disease is harder to cure when the person smokes. Additionally, if a person wants to get implants, the percentage of failure is higher as gums are weaker and the healing process is worse than those who do not smoke. 

Taste and Smell Issues

Have you ever associated a place with a cinnamon smell or remembered period of your life with a sweet taste coming from your lovely childhood food? Taste and smell are an integral part of our everyday life. Can you imagine having less sense of smell and taste? Smelling flowersSmoking does not completely distract sensory receptors but still lowers their quality — chemicals in the cigarettes dull taste receptors that recognize various favors. Besides taste, it also affects smelling.

When smoking a person exhales and inhales from mouth and nose, and the smoke goes through both of them. Chemical compounds limit registration of smell in the olfactory nerves, so as a result, the brain cannot transfer information to them. Longer you smoke, the damage is worse to the extent of permanent harm of smelling receptors. 


One of the terrifying results of smoking is cancer, and we are not talking about the lung one, but oral cancer. Statistics show that smokers are six times more vulnerable to the tongue, mouth, and throat cancer than nonsmokers. Moreover, according to the research from the University of California, eight people out of ten with oral cancer are smokers. Apart from that, smoking annually causes 4 million deaths across the world as it a reason for many types of cancers, including mouth, esophageal, kidney, and stomach.

As you can see, the impact of smoking varies from seemingly aesthetic damages to death. The sad part is that everything is in our hands, and we can prevent so many deaths by just quitting it. So, why not?

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Bad breathCancerCigaretteOral healthSmoking

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