A Dentist Lets You in on How Smoking Can Put You at Risk of Needing a Root Canal

Stop smoking

Quitting addictive habits can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes, people just need a little extra push to help them take the first steps to end a harmful cycle. Seeing a dentist for your semi-annual checkups and cleanings can help you learn how smoking could be impacting your oral health. Not only does this habit cost you money to keep up, but it could also cause you to have major dental health bills down the road. Read on to learn how cigarettes could cause you to need a root canal to save your tooth.


Smoking is known to cause harmful effects on your oral health such as the dry mouth. Plus, you’re regularly exposing your oral tissues to chemicals. When you don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth doesn’t have help rinsing away food particles and harmful oral bacteria that can eat away at your enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to oral health problems like cavities and decay.

If you don’t get these issues treated and repaired by your dentist, they can allow bacteria to accumulate and attack your mouth, infecting your gums and teeth. When decay is deep enough, these bacteria can penetrate the pulp of your tooth, which houses all of your nerves, and can cause severe toothaches and infection.


When your teeth or gums become infected, because you smoke, your body’s immune system is compromised, and can’t fight it off as effectively. When you quit smoking, you can reduce your risk of developing harmful oral problems such as gum disease. This disease has also been linked to a variety of serious health conditions that impact your overall wellbeings like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and respiratory infections.

While it’s not guaranteed that if you smoke you’ll need a root canal, quitting can drastically reduce your risk. Your oral health is just one additional reason out of hundreds to take the first step to quit or limit your tobacco use.


Typically, patients need root canals when bacteria infect the pulp of their teeth and cause severe pain. This can happen due to dental decay, cavities, or trauma that leave that tooth vulnerable. When you smoke, it increases your risk of experiencing these oral health problems, which can also increase the chances of your need for a root canal. While most people associated the procedure itself with pain, it can actually save your tooth and relieve discomfort. Plus, smoking can also increase your risk of jawbone deterioration, which can cause serious oral health problems to arise in the future.

When you quit smoking, you won’t just save money and time at the dentist’s office, but you’ll also preserve your oral health so you can enjoy a full and healthy smile when you get older. There’s nothing more important to you than your overall wellbeing, which is why it’s worth it to take the first step in breaking your bad oral habit.

About the Author

Dr. Hector Tijerina was born and raised in Texas, which is why he’s so passionate about providing his community with improved and restored oral health. He looks forward to making each of his patients feel comfortable while getting the treatment they can trust. As a member of professional organizations, he keeps up with the latest advancements in his field so he can provide his community with high-quality care. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Parkfield Family Dental’s website or contact (512) 213-6778