Tobacco Use and Oral Health

A wisp of tobacco smoke against a black background

It’s no surprise that smoking is dangerous to your overall health and is a known cause of lung cancer, diabetes, and cataracts, just to name a few. Smoking is also quite damaging to your oral health. Below, we’ll break down just how much tobacco use impacts your oral health.

Cosmetic Issues

Tobacco use weakens your immunity, making it tough to fight against bacteria, including those in your mouth. Once this bacteria begins to thrive, it weakens the protective outer layer of your teeth called enamel. When your enamel is weak, you’re more likely to develop stains on your teeth. Yellow teeth are not only embarrassing to have, but the potential for decay because of weak enamel is more likely.


Your expert Cary cosmetic dentist Dr. Nettey-Marbell offers a number of options to help you feel confident about your smile, such as in-office teeth whitening and porcelain veneers.

Gum Disease

Tobacco use makes it harder for your body to control the bacteria in your mouth. Over time, as this bacteria collects under the gum line, you may develop sore, red, and bleeding gums, all of which are signs of gum disease. Although gum disease is treatable in early stages, as it progresses, the likelihood of suffering from tooth decay and tooth loss grows exponentially. This makes it even harder to eat, talk, and smile.


Treatment for gum disease varies depending on what stage of gum disease you have. You may just need a good deep cleaning if it’s in the early stages, but if you are already experiencing signs of decay, you may require anything from root canal therapy to a tooth extraction.

Quit or Avoid Tobacco Use to Protect Your Oral Health

Although there are cosmetic and restorative treatments out there to help you maintain your smile, quitting or avoiding smoking is the best way to ensure that you’re giving your teeth a chance to thrive. If you have any questions about how smoking affects oral health or if you’re interested in restoring your smile, we at Parkside Family Dental are here to help you. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

We can help you get your oral health back on track!

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