MacDonald Ranch Dentist

How Smoking Affects Your Teeth

Las Vegas man with teeth that have been stained by cigarettes

Everyone knows smoking is harmful to your overall health. However, most people don’t stop to consider how harmful smoking is to your mouth and teeth. For those who choose to smoke, there are many negative factors to consider, including some serious social implications, such as bad breath and teeth staining.

In this day and age, where image is important, teeth-staining and bad breath can have quite a negative impact on one’s life. Whether for a job interview or wanting to meet someone new, a study, conducted by The Impact of Whiter Teeth on Key First Impressions, found that people with whiter teeth were given more opportunities.  The same can be said of bad breath.

Once teeth have been stained and/or damaged, there are great options available in Henderson, like bonding and veneers. However, even more serious is the impact smoking has on other parts of the mouth, as in:

Salivary gland inflammation – this common result of smoking is one of the biggest contributors to tooth decay and bad breath.

Plaque and tartar build-up – this chronic issue for smokers is responsible for tooth decay and teeth staining.

Reduced sense of taste – the nicotine in cigarettes has been found to cause damage to taste buds.

Loss of jaw bone – smoking weakens the immune system, which causes gum disease, and gum disease causes bone deterioration.

Risk of leukoplakia — also known as white patches in your mouth, leukoplakia can be harmless, however, these white patches are also one of the leading factors for oral cancer.

Chance of developing gum disease — smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease, which is one of the major contributors to tooth loss.

The possibility of oral cancer – it is estimated that about 80% of people with oral cancer smoke cigarettes.


Because cigarette smoke passes through the mouth, it directly and immediately impacts the mouth and teeth repeatedly, which is why the effects are so profound.

Another danger from smoking is the rising concerns about a possible connection between periodontal disease and your overall health. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, this common gum disease, particularly among smokers, can be associated with certain types of heart disease, respiratory infections, arthritis, and diabetes.

For more information about smoking and how it affects your teeth, particularly any concerns you might have about gum disease, contact Dr. Joshua M. Ignatowicz, in Henderson and the surrounding Las Vegas area, at (702) 473-5100.

© Joshua M. Ignatowicz, DMD. All rights reserved.
1070 W Horizon Ridge Parkway #121 Henderson, NV 89012

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