The impact of smoking on oral cavity and dental health
In exchange for some of the seemingly pleasant effects of smoking, we suffer a wide range of harmful effects. These harmful effects affect the oral cavity, the trachea, the lungs and other parts of the body. The idea is that when we smoke, we inhale hot, irritating smoke containing toxic substances that dry out and inflame the tissues it comes into contact with. Tobacco smoke contains around 4,000 different compounds, some of which irritate mucous membranes and some of which, penetrating these membranes, can have toxic, mutagenic (altering the basic information of cells) or carcinogenic (causing cancer) effects.
The high temperature of smoke increases the effectiveness of harmful substances, and the drying effect reduces the resistance of mucous membranes, thus facilitating the entry of harmful compounds into the body. The toxic smoke produced by smoking first passes through the oral cavity, where it exerts its multiple destructive effects. In the oral cavity, it meets the teeth, certain elements of the supporting structure of the teeth (gingiva) and the mucous membranes covering the rest of the mouth. Smoke causes small deposits and discolourations on the surface of the teeth, ranging from light brown to completely black, and causes a disturbing aesthetic effect that is less noticeable in ourselves and more easily noticed in others.
We must speak separately about the serious destructive effects of tobacco smoke in the parodontium. Its effects range from damage to the local defense system, improving the chances of pathogens, to direct toxic effects. In this way, it aids the inflammatory processes caused by specific micro-organisms which result in the breakdown of the parodontium, tooth loosening and tooth loss. Almost all types of periodontal disease can be caused and progressed by smoking, and the chances of recovery can be reduced by it.
Giving up on smoking can certainly improve the prognosis, but it is important to know that only early-stage periodontal disease can be reversed without medical help. It is a very common disease that results in permanent oral infection and reduced cleanability, thus increasing the likelihood of development of dental caries. Overall, it results in unhealthy, ugly teeth and unpleasant halitosis (bad breath), which in itself reduces a person’s popularity and success. Damage to the parodontium can not only be associated with the inconvenience of tooth loss, but has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes and other serious health problems… The most serious oral health effect of smoking is damage to the mucosa and underlying tissues, which can lead to the development of cancerous processes with fatal consequences.

The impact of smoking on the oral mucosa is now clear. This is the area most affected by the hottest smoke, drying it out, almost burning it. The fumes, vapours and carcinogenic tars in the smoke quickly overwhelm the defense mechanisms, causing dried, thickened, white patches (called leukoplakia). The epithelium in these affected, altered areas is thicker but of poorer quality and more permeable to carcinogens, so the likelihood of tumour development is higher at these affected areas.
The aesthetically damaging effects of smoking, discolouration of teeth, can be remedied by various teeth whitening procedures.
The most effective of these is in-office whitening. For this, we recommend the ZOOM 2 lamp tooth whitening system, which will aesthetically correct your teeth and remove the discolouration caused by smoking in less than 1.5 hours. (

Of course, given all the above, the best solution for smokers is to give up on smoking for their health. They need persistence and, in many cases also help!

Let’s stand by them and support them in overcoming this harmful addiction!

Dr. Tamás Péter