Bad Breath and Smoking





It is a known fact that the smell of tobacco clings to the clothing and hair of smokers. Individuals who smoke cigarettes also have the odor of tobacco in their breath which can easily be detected by people who do not smoke. So, the relation between tobacco and bad breath is clearly known. However, it has recently been proved that there are other ways in which tobacco can be associated with bad breath.

Why Does Smoking Cause Bad Breath?

The chemicals present in cigarettes are the main reason behind the bad breath caused by smoking. These chemicals tend to build up inside the mouth after smoking. The nicotine and tar in cigarette accumulates in the smoker’s mouth. These components stick to the gums, teeth and tongue, causing the bad breath.

There are also other reasons that associate bad breath with smoking. Saliva helps to control the growth of anaerobic bacteria that are one of the main reasons for bad breath. These bacteria live inside the mouth, at the tongue’s back and between the gums and teeth. They are called anaerobic because they live in places where there is no oxygen. The anaerobic bacteria produce VSCs or volatile sulfur compounds while digesting proteins for nutrients. Smoking tobacco is believed to suppress saliva production which in turn enhances the development of the anaerobic bacteria. So, the production of VSC also increases and causes bad breath.

The temperature inside the mouth is increased due to smoking. This can damage the oral tissues and even destroy them. Various bacteria inside the mouth can move freely inside the mouth due to the increased temperature, causing bad breath and other oral hygienic problems.


Smoking other tobacco products apart from cigarettes, including pipe and cigar also causes the same problems.

How to Control the Bad Breath Due to Smoking

Following are some tips to keep the smoking related bad breath under control:

  • Chewing gums can help one to keep the smell of smoking under control. It is advisable to use sugarless chewing gums as sugar can worsen the odor after suppressing it for some time.
  • Giving up smoking or cutting down the number of cigarettes smoked in a day also helps.
  • Using healthier alternatives to smoking, such as nicotine gums and E-cigarettes can keep the bad breath in check.
  • One should distract himself or herself by listening to music, reading, writing or watching TV to fight the urge to smoke.
  • The smell of smoking can be fought by keeping the tongue and teeth clean.
  • One should maintain proper oral health by brushing the teeth and using dental floss.
  • Using a mouthwash regularly also helps to fight bad breath.
  • It is advisable to drink plenty of water as it keeps the mouth clear and moist, helping to fight the bacteria causing bad odor in mouth.

Quitting smoking is the most effective way of getting rid of the bad breath. One can lessen the number of cigarettes smoked per day if it is too difficult to give up entirely. This also helps to reduce the bad breath caused by smoking tobacco.

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 Filed under:   Effects of Smoking




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