Tobacco smoking remains the single most preventable cause of illness and death in Australia. Smoking affects the whole body including the mouth. Smoking causes bad breath, stained teeth, reduced taste and changes to the gums.Quitting smoking reduces the risk of oral cancer and gum disease.
smoking stains teeth, white fillings and dentures
use a soft toothbrush and a pea sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth
if you wear dentures use mild soap and water
smokers’ toothpaste and whitening products contain more abrasive particles than regular toothpaste and should be used with care - they may wear tooth protecting enamel
your dental professional will advise you how to care for your oral health
the good news - being smoke free combined with proper tooth brushing at home and cleaning by your dental professional reduces visible stains
Tobacco use is one of the causes of bad breath. Smokers have an increased risk of calculus (tartar) build up which can make bad breath worse.
Constant use of mints to freshen breath may lead to problems with tooth decay. If you use mints, make sure they are sugar free.
The good news! Stopping smoking and gently brushing teeth will help the breath. A dental check will ensure there are no dental problems causing bad breath.
Smoking by-products stick to the surfaces in your mouth making it hard for taste buds to work. Your sense of smell may also be affected.
The good news!Taste sensation starts to improve 48 hours after your last cigarette.
Healthy gums are pink and firm. Healthy gums need good circulation to carry oxygen and nutrients in and to take waste products away. Good circulation is also a defence against infection.
Smoking affects the blood and oxygen supply to gums. Smoker’s gums may appear thickened and vary in colour from very pale to purple in severe cases. Gum disease affects gums, bone and the tissues supporting teeth.
Smokers are up to 6 times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
Long term gum disease can result in tooth loss. Smokers lose more teeth than non-smokers.
The good news! By stopping smoking and with dental care, the progress of gum disease can be stopped and further damage prevented.
Smoking is a major cause of oral cancers. The risk of oral cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked, the length of time people have smoked and if they are heavy drinkers.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer vary. They may be white or red patches in the mouth that don’t go away, sores that don’t heal, changes in the way teeth fit together or lumps and swellings. Diagnosed in the early stages, oral cancers may often be successfully treated. Oral cancers can be detected during dental check ups.
The good news! Quitting smoking reduces the risk of oral cancer.
Problems after dental treatment
Smoking often causes complications after tooth extraction, failure of dental implants and slows healing after gum disease treatment.
The good news! Quitting smoking reduces the likelihood of problems after dental treatment.
Smoking and pregnancy
Smoking affects your whole body as well as your mouth – your baby’s health will suffer too.
Give your teeth, gums and mouth a healthy chance …… think about quitting smoking.
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.