If you're one of the 46.6 million Americans who still smoked cigarettes as of 2011, you've probably battled off-putting breath, too. Not only do cigarettes release a cocktail of chemicals into the mouth, but they also cause a host of other problems.
People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience oral infections and disease. In addition, they often have a plaque buildup on their teeth, and plaque is an ideal place to harbor odor-causing bacteria. Plus, smoking tends to dry out the mouth. A dry mouth is an oxygen-depleted mouth, which provides the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive. Although they don't typically inhale smoke into their lungs, pipe and cigar enthusiasts face similar risks [source: Centers for Disease Control].
Regardless of your smoking habits (or lack thereof), there's one thing that's essential to the health of your teeth and gums. Read more on the next page.