Smoking stains on teeth

Jul 27, 2023

Smoking Stains and Effects on Teeth

As an adult smoker, you might be aware of the problem of teeth discolouration. Perhaps you’ve even already experienced yellowing teeth as a result of smoking cigarettes yourself. 


Smoking stains on teeth can occur when teeth are exposed to the multitude of chemicals produced by the smoke of a burned cigarette. Coloured compounds found in the smoke can cause discolouration to teeth when it attaches to the surface or penetrates the hard dental tissues.


How do discoloured teeth develop from smoking?  


When cigarettes burn, this act of combustion causes the chemicals within to discolour. Over time, exposure to these coloured chemicals may be responsible for the yellowing effect.


You might be wondering just how long it takes to see signs of an effect of smoking on teeth. The answer isn’t so clear as it varies from person-to-person and depends on the number of cigarettes and the frequency with which you smoke. The time it takes for an adult smoker to experience discolouration or a similar oral ailment will therefore vary.


A recent study from the United Kingdom found that the risk of severe tooth discoloration is 2.4 times higher for smokers than non-smokers. For more information concerning this study, click here.


What are Alternatives to Continued Smoking?


Smokeless products, which compared to cigarettes, heat tobacco, cause less tooth discoloration. The emitted THS aerosol in heated tobacco produces similar trends in color change, but to a much smaller degree. In addition, if you wear dental acrylic, this can even prevent color change between the tooth and the dental acrylic.


Without question, the best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Among other things, quitting smoking reduces the risk of oral cavity cancer, tooth loss, and implant loss. IQOS is not risk free and provides nicotine, which is addictive.  


Important information: If teeth are already stained, switching to IQOS will not reverse the colour of those stains.


This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.