Smoking’s Impact on Oral Health: Risks and Prevention

At Jowett & Lewis Family Dentistry in Topeka, KS, Dr. Andrew Lewis, DDS, and Dr. Ted A. Jowett, DDS, are deeply aware of the adverse effects of smoking on oral health. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the risks associated with smoking and offer practical advice for prevention and treatment.

The Risks of Smoking to Oral Health

Smoking significantly affects oral health, leading to various dental problems. Some of the major risks include:

  • Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for the development of periodontal disease. The toxins in tobacco smoke interfere with gum tissue cells, impairing blood flow and leading to infections in the gum tissues.
  • Oral Cancer: Smokers are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer, which can affect the lips, tongue, throat, and gums.
  • Tooth Discoloration and Bad Breath: Tobacco use can stain teeth and cause persistent bad breath, impacting both aesthetics and hygiene.

Smoking and Periodontal Disease

The link between smoking and periodontal disease is well-established. Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease, which can progress more rapidly than in non-smokers. Our clinic offers comprehensive Periodontal Treatments to manage and treat gum disease, especially in patients with a history of smoking.

Oral Cancer Risks

Smoking is a leading cause of oral cancer, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the cells in the oral cavity, leading to changes that can develop into cancer over time. The risk of oral cancer increases not just with cigarettes, but also with the use of cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco products. Regular Dental Exams and Cleaning at Jowett & Lewis Family Dentistry include thorough screenings for oral cancer. These screenings are essential, as they can detect early signs of cancer that may not be visible or cause symptoms. Early detection of oral cancer significantly enhances the effectiveness of treatment, increasing the chances of successful recovery. We use advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to identify any abnormal tissue growth or other signs indicative of oral cancer, ensuring comprehensive care and vigilance for our patients.

Impact on Cosmetic Dentistry

For patients seeking Cosmetic Dentistry treatments like Teeth Whitening or Veneers, smoking can compromise the results. Discoloration and staining from smoking can diminish the effectiveness of these cosmetic procedures.

Smoking Cessation: Key to Oral Health

Quitting smoking is the most effective step a person can take to protect their oral health. Smoking cessation not only reduces the risk of periodontal disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss but also improves the success rate of dental treatments.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Preventive measures, such as regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene practices, and quitting smoking, are vital in maintaining oral health. Our team at Jowett & Lewis Family Dentistry provides supportive guidance for smoking cessation and oral health maintenance.

Taking a Stand for Your Oral Health

Understanding the significant impact of smoking on oral health is the first step toward making healthier choices. Dr. Andrew Lewis and Dr. Ted A. Jowett are committed to helping patients in Topeka, KS, overcome the challenges posed by smoking and maintain optimal oral health.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Smoking and Oral Health.
  2. Journal of Periodontology – Smoking and Periodontal Disease.
  3. American Cancer Society – Oral Cancer Risks from Smoking.

For more information on managing the oral health effects of smoking, or to schedule an appointment, please call 785-272-3864 or visit our website.