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Why smoking can cause tooth decay and other disorders

Why smoking can cause tooth decay and other disorders

Have you made a resolution once again this year to give up smoking or are you trying to convince a friend or family member to do so? We all know that that smoking is bad for our general health, but perhaps we are not so aware of how it can affect our oral health and, quite often, the excuses end up getting the upper hand.

To make sure that this does not happen again this year, we are going to give you some more than convincing reasons that will allow you to convince whoever it is of the importance of nipping this bad habit in the bud.



Far from just causing simple stains to the teeth and halitosis or bad breath , tobacco seriously affects our teeth and gums. This substance has many negative effects on our general state of health, and on our oral health in particular. These range from tooth decay, dry mouth, periodontal diseases and bacterial infections to suffering disorders in the palate, difficulties in getting wounds to heal or being diagnosed with oral cancer. So, smoking doesn’t just cause your mouth to have an unpleasant smell.

We are now going to explain the different reasons why smoking causes the oral problems we have mentioned.


Tooth decay

As we know, dental caries or tooth decay is not a problem for smokers alone, although it has been shown that smoker do have a greater predisposition to suffer from it.

The main reason for this lies in the decrease in the flow of saliva that smokers experience, and this increases and favours the growth and retention of bacterial plaque. Brushing your teeth and making sure that you follow a comprehensive oral hygiene routine each day helps to reduce risk of suffering from tooth decay.

Periodontal disease

The tobacco and chemicals in a cigarette reduce the flow of flood in the oral tissues and they also reduce salivation, leading to a decrease in the capacity to react to infections and this increases the risk of suffering certain diseases such as periodontitis, which is a disease that affects the gums and the bone that holds our teeth in place.

Smokers receive less blood and oxygen in their gums and their defence mechanisms against bacteria are undermined in such a way that these bacteria become stronger. Moreover, the usual accumulation of tartar in the mouths of smokers results in increased swelling. This accelerates the destruction of the tissues that support the teeth and it accelerates this destruction and makes it more aggressive.

The consequences of this disorder include the loss of the alveolar bone and the tissue that holds the tooth, abscesses or gum boils, the separation of teeth or even, moving teeth or teeth falling out.

Disorders of the palate

There is a disorder known as nicotinic stomatitis popularly known as smoker’s palate, that damages the mucous membranes of the mouth of regular smokers and pipe smokers in particular.

The main sign is the appearance of sores on the roof of the mouth caused by the chemical substances in tobacco. This starts with a reddening of the hard palate which then leads to the appearance of thick white sores or patches with a red point in the middle. In addition, the salivary glands also tend to swell up, causing discomfort. The only way to put an end to oral disorders of this type is to give up smoking.

Difficulty or reduced healing of wounds

Smoking, as we have already mentioned, favours infection and, moreover, it hinders circulation of the blood that transports oxygen and the essential nutrients that are necessary for a wound to heal properly.

So, if a smoker has an oral injury such as a cut in the mouth or suffers from cold sores or has just undergone oral surgery, the absence of healthy conditions and a microbe-free environment will slow down and prolong the time needed for the wound to heal, and it might even stop the healing completely.

Oral cancer

Finally, oral cancer is one of the most serious oral disorders that a smoker can suffer from. Tobacco contains a high number of cancer-causing substances that considerably increase the risk of suffering oral cancer as it directly affects the mouth. However, there are other types of cancer, such as lung cancer, that can be caused by smoking.

Oral cancer

There is no doubt that the reasons for giving up smoking far outweigh any type of excuse that there may be, don’t you agree? Now that you are aware that smoking can also cause serious oral diseases, we hope that we have convinced you and that you can stroke that resolution off your list for once and for all. Look after your oral health in as comprehensive a way as possible.

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