Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Lesser Known Facts about how Smoking Affects Oral Health

‘Smoking is Injurious to Health’. These words have been repeated time and time again and extensive public awareness campaigns have been arranged to spread the awareness. But sadly, the menace of using tobacco products is still widely spread in almost every culture and every part of the world. According to Centers for disease control’s health report ‘Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States’.[1] Rates of smoking have peaked and even declined in the developed world.[2]But in the developing world, tobacco consumption is still rising by 3.4% per year.[3]The WHO in 2004 projected 58.8 million deaths to occur globally, from which 5.4 million are tobacco-attributed, and 4.9 million as of 2007.[4]


Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. As the awareness regarding the harmful effects of smoking increases the prevalence of smoking has declined in the past couple of decades from 20.9% (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 14.0% (14 of every 100 adults) in 2017.[5]There is a growing realization about the harmful effects smoking can have on your body and general health, but still many are unaware of the deleterious effects that smoking can have on your oral health.



Periodontal area or Periodontium is the area around your tooth surface that supports and stabilizes your tooth in its place. To stay healthy and functional your periodontium needs two things; to stay clean from plaque and calculus and a continuous supply of oxygen in your blood stream to help it heal in case of any gum disease. Smoking causes gum disease to progress faster than in non-smokers. Gum disease is seen as the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

There is a vast amount of research evidence that the type of bacteria seen in smokers has a greater tendency of causing gum disease. This can be attributed to the higher quantity of “bad” bacteria that is present in smokers.[6]