Understanding and Dealing with Smoker’s Mouth

Smoking is extremely damaging to your oral health. Smoker’s mouth is a catch-all term that refers to the range of oral health challenges that are triggered by smoking. Fortunately, if you have some of these side effects, you can reverse them as soon you stop smoking. Your dentist will help you identify and correct the oral health problems that were caused by your smoking, so you can move forward with a healthier, more attractive smile.

What exactly is smoker’s mouth?

A number of different oral health problems are caused by the toxins in cigarettes and from the heat of the cigarette itself. Smoking also creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow in your mouth, which increases the risk of oral health problems. Some common issues smokers have with their oral health include:

  • Stained teeth
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Pain
  • Change in taste/inability to taste

Another side effect of smoking is oral cancer. Over 90% of people with mouth cancers used tobacco products. Because of the damage smoking does to your teeth and gums on a regular basis, you may not notice the signs of oral cancer until the disease has progressed.

How can smoker’s mouth be treated?

If you are a smoker, you may need to see your dentist more regularly for exams and cleanings, but the best way to treat smoker’s mouth is to stop smoking. Once you stop smoking, your dentist can more effectively treat cavities and gum disease. He or she can also perform teeth whitening treatments to reduce the appearance of stains, or for severe stains, apply veneers. Oral cancer screenings are also important.

After you stop smoking, you may notice an increase in tooth pain. The pain was likely always there but masked by your smoking, so it will become more noticeable when you stop. With treatment for your dental issues, this pain should subside.


Get the care you need for a healthy smile at the office of John Carson, DDS. From preventative to restorative dentistry, our office provides comprehensive care for a range of dental health issues. Schedule an appointment with our Tucson dentist today by calling (520) 514-7203.


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