smokers teeth

Smoking Teeth – How Does Smoking Affect our Oral Hygiene?

Smoking and tobacco consumption cause discoloured teeth, bad breath and a restricted sense of taste. Over time, smoking can interfere with the immune system (e.g. smoker’s lung), leading to side effects that include reduced recovery. 

For this reason, smoking is also a risk factor for gums or periodontitis, which can lead to inflammation of the teeth. This irritation can affect the bone and other supporting structures, and its advanced stages can lead to tooth loss.

Ultimately, the effects of smoking on teeth can lead to tooth decay. Because tobacco causes tooth discoloration, the aesthetic results of this treatment are not always ideal – both extrinsic and intrinsic. 

There are many “before and after” pictures to show a smoker how teeth can discolour.

smoking makes your teeth look bad

What Exactly Are Smoking Teeth

Your teeth have pores like your skin. The nicotine and tar in tobacco can easily close these pores and cause the tooth surfaces to discolor. Nicotine is usually colourless, but oxidizes in combination with oxygen and then turns yellow. 

So it can be concluded that e-cigarettes are also responsible for tooth discoloration. With most smokers, tooth areas are more discolored, because the smoke is inhaled at these places.

In chewing tobacco, the brown tobacco mixed with saliva produces a dark brown liquid that can discolour the teeth. The resistance of the liquid will cause teeth to become very dirty.

Smokers should often brush their teeth so that the discoloration does not become too strong.

Why Are Tobacco Products Difficult to Remove?

Tooth discoloration is relatively difficult to remove because nicotine has penetrated the enamel through constant consumption.

Tooth discoloration is very difficult for the layman to remove. With a professional tooth whitening (Bleeching) the teeth become brighter and whiter again.

What Does Smoking Do in The Mouth?

The interdental spaces (where two teeth meet) are the primary areas where tartar can form. Tartar is much softer and absorbs nicotine faster. 

The interdental spaces must be cleaned regularly. It is recommended to use dental floss at least once a day in order to prevent the formation of tartar.

Smoking also causes the gums to recede, leaving the necks of the teeth exposed (the gums continue to recede). The tooth necks are not so well protected and can discolor much more easily. However, the tooth necks are also easier to clean again.

yellow teeth bacause of smoking

How Do I Remove Tobacco Stains From My Teeth – What Should I Do For Smokers Teeth Whitening?

When teeth are whitened, it is very important that all teeth are treated. The gel used to whiten teeth must hit all teeth in order to be effective, including the interdental spaces. There are many over-the-counter products that can be bought in drugstores that promise that teeth will appear brighter again after 14 days. 

That is not true. These products may brighten teeth slightly, but they are not visible to the human eye. Only professional tooth cleaning is suitable for whitening.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you consult a dentist to perform a thorough cleaning to clean all tartar and plaque around the gum / tooth edges for optimal bleaching results. So you can get your teeth white again.


When you smoke, your teeth absorb tar and nicotine stains quickly after whitening. Here it is particularly important to ensure that the pores are quickly closed so that the teeth can remineralize and so that no new discolorations can form. 

For this reason, hygienists recommend the desensitizing gel. Since your tobacco stains may be deeper than the average superficial stains caused by daily food / drink, you will need more bleaching sessions than the average person.

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This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Oliver Sankt - Autor