It hardly bears repeating, but we might as well say it again: Smoking is one of the most powerful causes of bad breath in existence. It’s not the most common reason we get oral odor – that title goes to the microbes in your mouth – but tobacco use can quickly trample your fresh breath into a smelly mess.
If your New Year’s resolution was to quit smoking, congratulations! The desire to give up tobacco is a good sign that you value your health and dislike constantly having halitosis. More than almost any other consumer product, cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can really foul up the scent of your breath.
The American Dental Association certainly agrees, as this monolithic pronouncement from its website proves: “Tobacco products cause bad breath.” The agency recommends asking your dentist about ways to quit.
Not a bad idea! After all, smoking can ruin fresh breath in more than one way. For starters, tobacco use is known to stain teeth and leave gums open to bacterial infection. Under layer after layer of smoke, microbes begin to eat away at your enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and even smellier breath.
Long-term smoking even increases the risk of periodontal disease, a deep infection of the bone bed that your teeth are rooted in. This disease is one of the prime causes not only of halitosis, but also of tooth loss.
How much more likely is a smoker to have bad breath than a non-smoker? No one knows for certain, but the research figures paint a grim picture.
A study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice found that among Saudi dental students, men were almost seven times more likely to smoke than women. However, just 81 percent of male respondents reported brushing regularly, compared to 99 percent of females. As you might imagine, the guys were much more likely to have gag-inducing bad breath.
According to a report in the Journal of Dentistry, people who smoke are 2.5 times more likely to have halitosis.
So what’s the best way for a smoker to get fresh breath? Step 1 is to scale back the habit or, ideally, to eliminate it entirely. Step 2 is to use our specialty tooth whitening kits to get rid of stains on your teeth. Step 3 is to look into regularly using TheraBreath’s specialty breath fresheners and oral care probiotics to keep your mouth smelling sweet.