Smoking and Oral Cancer


Smoking can affect every part of the body and can have a very bad impact on the mouth. Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, our dedicated dentists are determined to help our patients quit smoking to become healthier. Smoking can lead to serious diseases with the most serious being oral cancer.


Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth, tongue, palate, cheeks and lips. Research has found that people who are diagnosed with oral cancer, 75% are smokers and people who drink alcohol and smoke are 35 times more likely to develop oral cancer. Oral Cancer happens when normal cells in the mouth become mutated. Every time you breathe in cigarette smoke, harmful chemicals go through your mouth and throat and end up in your lungs. When this is constantly repeated over time the harmful chemicals can lead to changes in your mouth causing oral cancer. Oral Cancer is most commonly found on the sides of the tongue or the floor of the mouth. Oral cancer can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy or sometimes tooth extractions. Smoking is very hard to give up, but oral cancer is a preventable disease which is why it is so important to try to quit and to come for your regular check-ups here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic where our dentists will do a free oral cancer screening with every check-up.


Smoking can affect the mouth in other ways as smoking is one of the causes of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when there is a build up of hardened plaque called calculus around the gum line. Bacteria than leads to the deterioration of the gums, bones and tissue which keep the tooth in place. This will usually lead to loose teeth as there is nothing keeping the tooth supported. Although bacteria cause this, smoking has an impact as it affects your immune system, making it harder to fight off gum infections. Smoking makes it harder for gums to heal as it stops oxygen from getting to the gum. People who smoke have twice the chance of developing gum disease. If you are a smoke it is vital that you regularly get your teeth cleaned by a hygienist to prevent the chances of getting periodontal disease.


Oral cancer and periodontal disease are the more serious affects of smoking on the oral cavity but there are other ways smoking can have an impact on your mouth. Smoking can disturb your taste buds and affect your taste. After an extraction, dry socket which is a painful infection is a lot more common in smokers than non-smokers. Smoking can also cause bad breath and staining on your teeth as the tar in the smoke sticks to your teeth creating yellow and brown stains which can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.


Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we understand that nicotine is an extremely addictive substance which is why we are here to help give you all the help and information to get you to stop smoking. Keeping your teeth clean by brushing and flossing daily can be one of the best ways to give you that push to want to be healthier. It is never too late stop smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get mouth cancer from smoking?

Smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer in the mouth, throat and lungs. Oral Cancer can be found in the mouth at the gums, cheeks, tongue, palate or lips. The risk of developing oral cancer are higher in people that smoke and drink alcohol. It is very important that you come for your regular check ups here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic if you are a smoker as we always do a free oral cancer screening.

Why is smoking bad for oral health?

Smoking is the leading cause for oral cancer but can also be a large factor in periodontal disease. The tobacco in smoke can lead to a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream which means that a person with a gum infection or gum disease cannot heal. Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.

Does Mouth cancer spread fast?

A lot of Oral Cancers are a type called squamous cell carcinoma which usually spread very fast. Smoking and drinking alcohol heavily are the leading causes of oral cancer and can also lead to the cancer spreading faster.

Can you get mouth cancer without smoking?

Mouth cancer can occur in anyone but the risk of oral cancer is a lot higher in people who smoke. If you drink a lot of alcohol but don’t smoke, your risk of oral cancer can still be high. HPV is a virus that can increase your risk of oral cancer too.

What are the symptoms of Oral Cancer?

  • An ulcer in the mouth or on the lip that does not disappear after 10 days or particularly if the ulcer causes no pain
  • A white patch in the mouth
  • A red patch in the mouth
  • swelling in the oral cavity
  • Suddenly dentures are no longer fitting correctly

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    Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13