How Smoking and Alcohol Effect Your Teeth

Smoking and excessive drinking can have hugely detrimental effects on your teeth and smile.

Having seen first-hand the damage these habits can cause, we’ve put together some of the risks for your oral health you should consider when smoking and drinking.


Smokers are at a significantly higher risk than the rest of the population of developing periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is the more aggressive and advanced form of gum disease. It not only causes sometimes irreversible damage to your gums, but also the supporting bone around your teeth too. When found and treated early the damage can be fixed and cosmetic dentistry can return teeth to their former glory. However, where dental care is not sought the results can be terrible for both the look, feel and functionality of the mouth.

When you smoke, many of the chemicals from the cigarette, including tar and nicotine, can stick to the teeth and mouth, causing a hugely stubborn odour, which is compounded with every cigarette. Over time these sticky chemicals will stain your teeth and decrease your sense of taste. Where gum disease is beginning bad breath will be even worse as the bacteria multiples and breaks down any food left in the mouth.

By quitting smoking you will lower your risk of gum disease and prevent that nasty smokers’ breath.


Alcohol is well known to produce higher plaque levels within the mouth. As well as damaging your teeth, plaque can be difficult and unpleasant to remove. Limiting your alcohol consumption is a great way to get started with reducing plaque and improving your oral health.

Red wine is also a big contributor is stained teeth. While cosmetic dentistry can take care of this and bring your teeth back to their former glory, it’s best to limit staining from early in life. A great tip for red wine lovers is to drink through a straw. While it might take a bit of getting used to, it allows the wine to completely bypass your teeth, giving them no opportunity to become stained.

Even if you’re not a wine drinker there are still risks other alcohols pose to your teeth. Mixing spirits with sugary fizzy drinks can greatly affect the health of your teeth over time. Again, using a straw can take away a lot of the potential damage. Another good idea is to seek out lower or no sugar options in the supermarket. Something like soda water gives the same fizzy sensation but doesn’t contain the same levels of sugar that can be so harmful to the drinker’s teeth.

Over a lifetime of use most people will sustain some sort of damage or stain to their teeth. Luckily, the solution is simple. Come and see our team at Maven Dental Yokine about cosmetic dentistry and we’ll give you all the options you need to fix your smile.

Make sure to have your bi-annual hygiene cleaning appointment to help maintain your oral health.