ValuedPatient - Healthcare Topics

I’m a smoker. How can I look after my teeth and gums?

As a smoker you need to be aware of the effects that smoking can cause on your oral health.  You are putting yourself at greater risk of the build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease, as well as oral cancers and bad breath.  Nicotine can also cause significant staining on your teeth.

What can I do to reduce the risks?

  • Oral hygiene. You should be diligent with your twice daily brushing and daily flossing and drink plenty of water.  An antibacterial mouthwash may help, or you could try chewing sugarless gum. A regular professional dental clean with remove any build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth reducing the risk of gum disease.
  • Preventing and Removing Stains. Brushing several times a day with a whitening toothpaste can help prevent staining and may help to reduce existing stains.  There are also over-the-counter products, such as whitening gels and strips, that can be applied to help remove stains.  Depending on how severe the staining is, professional teeth whitening may be needed.
  • Regular dental check-ups. Regular check-ups with your dentist are important to identify and treat any smoking related problems that may arise with your teeth, gums and mouth and to advise on the preventative steps you can take by utilising good oral hygiene.  It is important that if you notice any changes in your mouth that could be something more serious, you contact your dentist or doctor straight away.

No matter how long you have been a smoker, quitting will have a big impact on the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Maybe it’s time to consider giving up your nicotine habit!