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The effects of smoking and vaping on your teeth!

The effects of smoking and vaping on your teeth!

Created: September 19, 2022 | Updated: March 28, 2024

Do you smoke and are you curious about the effects of smoking on your teeth? Everyone knows by now that smoking is bad for your health, but much less known is the impact of smoking on your teeth. Apart from the fact that smoking doesn’t exactly make your teeth any prettier, smoking can also lead to retracted gums, inflammation of your gums, cause tooth decay and even loose teeth. In the this blog, we discuss the impact of smoking on your teeth.

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Effect of smoking on your teeth

Smoking is perhaps the most talked about health threat, and rightly so. However, the harmful effects of tobacco extend beyond your physical health; smoking also has a significant impact on the health of your teeth. Below, you can read about the different ways smoking affects your teeth and gums and discuss steps you can take to limit the damage.

More plaque and bacteria

Dental plaque is the causative agent of gum disease. Dental plaque is made up of bacteria and forms not only on your teeth but also between them and on the transition from your tooth to the gums. People who smoke have more plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) than people who do not smoke. Smokers therefore have more gum infections that are often more severe. When your gums are inflamed, they feel painful and bleed quickly when you brush. The initial stage of inflamed gums is called gingivitis, and in more advanced stages it is called periodontitis.

Hidden gum inflammation from smoking

Nicotine constricts the blood vessels in your gums so the symptoms of gum inflammation are not always noticed. As a result, such inflammation can spread and also affect the jawbone. It is therefore important to regularly have plaque and tartar removed by your dentist or dental hygienist. And for those who cannot or do not want to go to the dentist, tartar removers for home use are also on the market.

Tooth decay and cavities

Dental plaque not only causes gum inflammation, it can also cause cavities. Dental plaque consists of 70% bacteria that can cause tooth decay and in people who smoke, the composition of bacteria numbers is often higher.

effects of smoking and vaping on your teeth

Loose teeth

Smoking also causes bad teeth. In fact, one effect of smoking is that gum disease heals less quickly and jawbone can begin to shrink. Therefore, smokers are more likely to lose teeth and these need to be replaced. This can be done with an implant on which a crown or denture is then placed later. But before that can happen, the implant must first grow well into the bone. Smoking can impair wound healing. The fusing of such an implant therefore often causes problems for smokers.

Tooth discolouration caused by smoking

Another consequence of smoking is discolouration of your teeth. Well no one naturally has snow-white teeth but in smokers, you often see yellowish, brown or even black discolouration or stains on the teeth, called smoker’s teeth. 1 You also get that tarnish when you drink coffee, tea or wine but tarnish caused by smoke is harder to remove. As you get older, it is a natural process for your teeth to discolour a bit but when you smoke, you accelerate this.

Effects of vaping on your oral health

Vaping can lead to similar dental problems as smoking, such as gingivitis, tooth decay and tooth discolouration. Quitting vaping and maintaining good oral hygiene are crucial to reduce dental damage.

Stop smoking and vaping for a healthier mouth

Quitting smoking is the ultimate step to stop the damage and protect your teeth. Until then, as a smoker, in addition to extra care by your dentist and dental hygienist, you need to pay extra attention to daily oral hygiene. The best way to prevent gingivitis, cavities and tooth decay is to brush properly. This can be done using durable bamboo toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes or toothpaste tablets. Since nicotine deposits often settle in the spaces between your teeth, you should floss at least once a day with dental floss or a water flosser. To remove stains from your teeth, you can use oil pulling. When it comes to oral hygiene, don’t forget to use a tongue cleaner as many bacteria develop on the back of the tongue.

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Frequently asked questions

We can be brief about that: Yes, smoking causes bad teeth and adversely affects your oral health. Smokers are therefore more likely to have tooth and teeth problems than people who do not smoke.

Smoking does not just lead to discolouration of your teeth. It can lead to inflammation of your gums, cause cavities and even cause teeth to loosen, which can cause you to lose them.

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