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Smoking and Tooth Health

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by singingintherain, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    I quit smoking about three months ago but I still haven't been to see my dentist. It has been about 5 years since my last checkup and I have been putting it off.

    I'm worried that my teeth will be very unhealthy, and it will cost me a lot of money to fix them. I'm also embarrassed that my nicotine addiction will likely have caused issues. My teeth feel mostly okay. I have some sensitivity so I know I need to get them checked out. There is a slight tartar build up also so it's important I get them scaled and cleaned soon.

    I am sometimes my own worst enemy when it comes to my physical health! Does anyone else put things like this off? Maybe someone has a positive smoker + dentist story to share? Will they be able to tell just from looking at my teeth that I was a smoker?
  2. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I did some damage to my teeth from smoking for a few decades.
    Unfortunately some damage you can never reverse. I was lucky that most of mine was cosmetic, with quitting they slowly became whiter and cleaner.
    Now you can barely tell I smoked all those years, but I didn't do any teeth whitening and I haven't been to a dentist in a long time. I bet if you did then you could get healthier teeth faster.
  3. lalabee21

    lalabee21 Active Contributor

    I’ve been smoking for fifteen years and I’ve never had any issues with my teeth. I visit the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and whitening and my teeth are perfect.

    I think that after five years of skipping appointments with your dentist you probably will have to spend some money to fix them. Sensitivity could be caused by caries, and the tartar is kind of worrying because it could mean you have gingivitis. The good news is that now dentists use new techniques and I won’t hurt at all, and also with a good cleaning and whitening you’ll be as good as new.

    Don’t worry about this, you’ll be fine and we all do things that harm our health in one way or the other. Good you realized this, now just do something about it soon!
  4. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    At least I can be sure I don't have gingivitis as I have had my wisdom teeth out in the interim and my oral surgeon checked for that sort of thing, along with more serious checks regarding oral cancers. I used to visit the dentist very regularly as I had my tongue pierced and I was determined to prove my dentist wrong when he said it would damage my teeth. I was so careful with it but I stopped going when I took it out.

    I do really just need to harden up and go! I had bad experiences as a teenager going to the dentist as the hygienist I saw every second appointment was a very nasty mannered woman who made appointments extremely unpleasant. I'm going to be at a different surgery though so shouldn't have to put up with anything like that.
  5. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    After I quit smoking, I went to the dentist to whiten and clean my teeth. The effect didn't last though, because I drink a lot of black tea and it turned my teeth back to a yellowish tint.

    Most dentist can tell you were a smoker by looking at your teeth, as they have seen a lot of this (most people nowadays are smokers). But don't worry, he won't judge you. It may cost more to get them cleaned, but health is important, so go pay your dentist a visit before it gets worse!
  6. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    My husband is also a smoker and he hasn't gone to the dentist for three years now (or more). The last time he went was to have his braces removed and he was not much of a smoker then. He has no complains about his teeth or gums now though. But it also helps that he is a very good teeth brusher lol. He brushes his teeth for about 30 minutes a day. Would you believe that? He brushes longer than I bathe. I always tease him about that. But then it works, as he has no cavities for years now. He never complains too about toothache or gum pain.

    So I guess, proper toothbrushing and maintenance can help smokers. It would also be better if you go to a dentist for a proper cleaning. There are areas within our teeth that a toothbrush cannot get into. Add to that the cigarettes that smokers have been puffing which can affect the teeth.
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Smoking will obviously cause damage on the teeth but I also think that gum disease is also something to think about. Depending on how long you've been smoking will depend on how much damage as actually been done, either way a dental check up after quitting smoking is the only way to know where to go from there in regards to repairing the damage.
  8. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    My sister is a heavy smoker and her teeth and gums are in a terrible state, in fact she appears to have lost some although I don't know how as she never goes to the dentist. I can only think that some must have fallen out of the gum .. but wouldn't a person suffer terrible pain before this happens? We never talk about it and if someone brings up the subject of teeth she quickly leaves the room or changes the subject.
  9. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think if you used to be a chain smoker and just recently quit, most probably it is noticeable that you used to smoke just looking in the teeth and gum and maybe in the breath as well. But if it is a long time already after you quit, the teeth might already recover a bit if not totally. A visit in the dentist would help you make your teeth healthy again.
  10. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Tоbассо соntаins mаny substаnсеs knоwn tо bе сytоtоxiс (dеstruсtivе tо yоur bоdy’s сеlls аnd tissuеs). Smоkеrs hаvе mоrе саlсulus (hаrdеnеd dеntаl plаquе) thаn nоnsmоkеrs, аnd hеаvy smоkеrs hаvе mоrе саlсulus thаn light smоkеrs. Thе Niсоtinе in tоbассо саusеs sоmеthing саllеd vаsосоnstriсtiоn (nаrrоwing thе blооd vеssеls). Blооd сirсulаtiоn – сеrtаinly аn impоrtаnt thing! – hаs bееn shоwn tо dесrеаsе by аs muсh аs 70% in yоur mоuth during thе smоking оf а сigаrеttе. Tоbассо smоking, furthеrmоrе, аlsо аffесts yоur bоdy’s immunе rеspоnsеs (dеfеnsе systеm).
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    While there's no question that smoking is bad for many parts if your body, including your teeth and gums, if you are a smoker then regular trips to the dentist can limit the damage somewhat.

    Even if it's just cosmetic, teeth whitening and regular checkups for a smoker can make a huge amount of difference, and it could also prevent other damage being caused.
  12. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    The worst side effect that I had because of smoking was the stains. Fortunately besides that my teeth are in general good health. My real problem with dentists is the bill they give you after the visit.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  13. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Dentist probably have ways to tell if you smoke or not. Still it's good that your concerned about your health. The best thing to do is give up the cigarettes. Doing this will help more that just your tooth health.
  14. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    I also prolong visiting the dentist, and only go when I have a severe toothache. Yes, this tends to be a more costly affair as I will often have to get a root canal and then a filling. I just really abhor going to the dentist, but I don't recommend this to others. Smokers often tend to have yellowed teeth, and I'm sure they need to go for a check up.
  15. achexx84

    achexx84 Active Contributor


    Well, you're not at all alone, because I too avoid doctors and dentists like they're the plague. I am my own worst enemy as well. Dentists will be able to tell that you smoke, but they will also be able to tell that you've recently quit by the amount of blood flow to your gums. What I recommend is using a coconut oil treatment on your teeth. I have a jar of the oil and I dip my toothbrush in it and scrub with baking soda. It has helped lighten my teeth. I have had to have 2 root canals though due to the damage that smoking has done, and my enamel on my teeth has diminished significantly.

    I recently went to a dentist and he didn't scold me, but told me that I needed to worry about one thing at a time with my teeth, or it will make me want to smoke more. I have recently quit, and noticed that my teeth and gums are much healthier, and my teeth feel stronger than before. I can't wait to get to him again and show him the improvement just on quitting alone. it's hard to find a dentist that will be supportive and non-scolding, but check around with your friends and family, and hopefully you'll be able to get everything squared away :)
  16. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    If you smoke, chew tobacco or drink tea and coffee, it is natural that your teeth will become yellow. You can go to dentist and perform scaling. Habits such as smoking, tea/coffee drinking and chewing tobacco can also cause bad breath. Once you stop, you will begin to regain your natural color and smell will be gone
  17. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I have been through one of those before, I developed an infection and really went through a bed spell. After having my tooth fixed I promised myself never to go through that again.
    Dentist actually aren't that expensive because they do a service that we actually need, smoking isn't.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
    Damien Lee likes this.
  18. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    I have to agree with you. If one visits the dentist on a regular basis, a quick check up gives one an idea of what condition his or her teeth are in. Any decent dentist should be able to detect any problems which can be rectified before they worsen.
  19. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Well, the worst that can happen to your teeth when you are smoking is getting yellow teeth. Is not like you have been smoking crack ;) So don't worry and just go see your dentist, I'm sure it won't be as big deal. Just relax, take a deep breath and get that appointment. Everything will be ok :)
  20. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    My bro doesn't really get check-ups on his own to the dentist, but he gets to be checked yearly through his company's yearly dental exam. He's a heavy smoker, but he has no other issues aside from his teeth being yellow.