What Happens to Your Mouth When You Smoke?

One of the side effects of smoking is that you are more likely to get gum disease, and your gum disease will worsen more rapidly.

1. Gums Bleeding

Your gums may swell and bleed, particularly when you brush.

2. Bone Changes

The bone holding the teeth in place can start to slowly shrink away, especially if you continue to smoke for a number of years.

3. Tooth Loss

This bone loss continues to progress, and after many years some smokers may lose their teeth.

4. Early Treatment

It's best to treat gum disease early, ideally before you do any permanent damage.

Other changes in your mouth

1
Bad breath

Smoking causes bad breath

2
Stained Teeth

Yellow teeth is not a good look

3
Dry Mouth

Increases risk of decay

4
Poor Healing

Ulcers, cuts or surgery wounds will not heal so well

5
Oral Cancer

You are at greater risk of cancer of the mouth

What Can I Do to minimise harm?

See your dentist regularly - If you smoke you may have gum disease no matter how well you clean your teeth. Your dentist can clean the gums to make them healthy again.
But the best way to avoid these problems is not to smoke at all!

Good oral hygiene
Keep your teeth and gums healthy

BRUSH
Use a soft
toothbrush
twice daily
HELP
Your dentist can
show you how
TOOTH-
PASTE
Use a fluoride
toothpaste
FLOSS
Floss each
tooth daily

Useful Information

Smoking and your oral health

A major problem with smoking is that it tends to disguise the damage taking place to teeth and gums. The Australian Dental Association Dental Health Week Website provides further information about the role of nicotine in gum disease, loose teeth and oral cancers.


Water & Quitting Smoking

Water helps you stay healthy and it is important to replace the water our bodies use. This factsheet from Nutrition Australia explains why water is important for good health, especially when quitting smoking.


The Effect of Smoking on Your Mouth

The Australian Government Quit Now website provides further facts and information about the damage that smoking can do to your oral health, including periodontal disease, stained teeth and tooth loss.


Getting Support to Quit Smoking

Getting the right help and support can go a long way to ensure that you’re able to quit for good. Many free advice and support services exist to help smokers preparing to quit, and recent quitters stay smoke free. The Quitline and Quit Coach are two proven support services that can help you. Information about these services is available via the Quit Now website.