Can Your Dentist Tell if You Smoke?

Smoking has several significant detrimental effects on dental health which are easily visible to dentists. Learn how dentists can tell if you smoke.

Can Your Dentist Tell if You Smoke?

Smoking has a range of effects on teeth and gums, and your dentist can easily identify these impacts. So yes, your dentist will know if you smoke. Common signs include yellow teeth, plaque, receding gums, and more. Smokers may worry that their dentists can tell that they smoke from their teeth.

While there are obvious signs dentists will see, such as tooth stains and gum recession, dentists are not here to judge your habits. Instead, they will help you keep your mouth as healthy as possible and can help repair the impact of smoking on your dental health. One of the most typical revelations our teeth make includes smoking patterns. Many patients try to hide that they smoke, but it's impossible to hide in front of a dentist.

Nothing goes unnoticed under the scrutiny of a trained dentist, and light yellow spots under teeth and gums are no exception. Dentists can easily detect discoloration, and their first step is usually to encourage the patient to stop smoking. But quitting is easier said than done. However, it should be noted that, despite few well-intentioned suggestions, most dentists do not judge their patients' lifestyles, particularly their smoking patterns.

Every dentist's priority is to leave as much legroom as possible to boost oral hygiene for patients whose routine habits hinder their dental well-being. Your oral health alone isn't enough to let a dentist know if you regularly use marijuana. Marijuana use has been associated with an increased risk of periodontal disease, as well as tooth discoloration and xerostomia (commonly known as “cotton mouth”). Unless you smoke just before going to the dentist's office, it won't be possible for your dentist to realize that you smoke marijuana just for your oral health.

Because the color of the spots can vary from person to person, the dentist may smell your clothes or examine your fingers for nicotine stains if they suspect you smoke. But the truth is, your dentist is likely to know you're a smoker even if you don't share that information. In fact, there are many things your dentist can say about you and your health just by looking at your mouth. Patients who don't brush their teeth twice a day, every day, or those who do a poor job of brushing thoroughly, will have several telltale signs that their dentist will see right away.

If you're a medical marijuana patient in Texas, you may wonder if your dentist can tell you smoke marijuana. And dentists know that, says Shawn Adibi, DDS, associate professor in the department of general medicine and dental public health at the University of Texas at Houston. There's no reason to lie to your dentist about your smoking habits or any other relevant information, as they will only use those details to provide you with better, more personalized care.

Morris Delucian
Morris Delucian

Coffee fan. Wannabe twitter ninja. Evil web aficionado. Wannabe beer fan. Award-winning bacon specialist.

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