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Can people who smoke have oral health problems?

Carol Jahn
Dentist

Smoking is the number one risk factor for periodontal disease. People who smoke lose more bone around their teeth than non-smokers and this puts them at risk for tooth loss. Smoking also compromises your response to periodontal treatment by 25%-50%. If you stop smoking, you cannot regain the bone you have already lost, but you can half the progression of the disease.

Smokers are at higher risk for periodontal disease, tooth decay, and many other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and osteoporosis. Research suggests that quitting smoking can decrease your risk for many health problems. Quitting smoking can help stop the harm done to the mouth, teeth, gums, and body.

People who smoke can especially have oral health problems. Smoking is bad for health and that includes your oral health. Smoking also puts you at an increased risk for several oral health problems, including:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease
  • oral cancer

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.