Carlisle's Dental Health Blog

Will my Dentist Know That I Smoke?

Smoking can wreak havoc on your oral health. Smoking impacts your teeth and gums in several ways. These impacts can be quickly identified by your dentist. So, yes, your dentist will know if you smoke. Among the telltale signs include yellow teeth, plaque, receding gums, and more. Keep reading to learn how smoking affects your oral ecosystem.

Yellow Teeth (Nicotine Stains)

Similar to your skin, your teeth have pores. These pores absorb the things you eat, drink, or in this case, smoke. Nicotine and tar in tobacco have qualities that allow it to stain materials very easily. Mixed with your saliva, smoking or tobacco use will cause yellow or brown stains to develop quickly. The stains caused by smoking seep deeper into the enamel, making them more difficult to remove. These stains are often too visceral to be removed through drugstore whitening products, and regular professional whitening is needed.

Plaque and Tartar Buildup 

The chemicals in tobacco products affect the way saliva flows through your mouth. One of saliva’s main functions is to protect tooth enamel and prevent decay. When the natural flow is disrupted, the beneficial proteins and minerals in the saliva are unable to do their job, leading to plaque buildup. In excess, this plaque becomes tartar, a calcified form of plaque. 

Other Impacts

Smoking can be harmful in other ways. For one, it can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, or lips. About 90% of people who were diagnosed with one of these forms of cancer used tobacco products. The chemicals in cigarettes will also give you bad breath. Smokers also tend to have gum lines that recede more than normal.

Bottom Line

Smoking, tobacco, and even vape use all have a plethora of negative effects on your health, but your dentist isn’t here to judge your lifestyle habits. Instead, they’ll be happy to offer solutions and helpful advice to assist you in quitting and restoring better oral health! Your dentist knowing you smoke is no reason to skip your cleaning or appointment! More than anything, they’re going to be thankful to see you and happy to help!