Fact Checked

How to Remove Nicotine Stains From Your Teeth

Written by Fernanda Elizalde

November 21, 2022

Medically Reviewed

By Dr. Greg Grillo, DDS

Nicotine, whether chewed or smoked, can harm the beauty of your smile and pose other major health problems.

In addition to damaging the health of your gum line, nicotine can leave yellow or brownish smoke stains on your teeth. Here's all you need to know about maintaining a healthy smile and how to remove nicotine stains from teeth.

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The effects of nicotine on your smile

Your teeth and gums can suffer significantly from smoking or chewing tobacco. Smokers' teeth might become yellow or brown from smoking stains, especially after prolonged nicotine use. This discoloration is frequently referred to as "smokers' teeth."

Additionally, smoking hurts your gums. The risk of gum disease and tooth decay may increase with continued nicotine usage.

It is preferable to consider quitting smoking cigarettes to prevent gum damage and tartar buildup from having a dry mouth due to smoking, in addition to the problems with the immune system, blood flow, and other health risks of tobacco use.

To lessen nicotine's risks to your smile, you should also maintain good oral hygiene and make sure you have regular dental cleanings.

Best techniques for cleaning tobacco stains off tooth enamel

Besides the obvious best solution is quitting smoking, several dental practices are available to help you with teeth whitening and to help remove nicotine stains which include brushing stained teeth regularly.

Maintain good oral health

Yes, practicing good dental hygiene daily is the best approach to avoiding surface stains from smoking on your teeth. Maintaining your oral hygiene might help you avoid several common dental issues, including gum disease.

Use teeth whitening options such a whitening mouthwash to maintain your teeth healthy and stain-free. Keep bruising frequently, if possible, twice daily at a minimum.

After smoking, rinse your mouth with water or start brushing right away whenever possible to help prevent staining and other oral problems.

Yes, rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after using tobacco products helps to control the bacteria and surface stains causing germs. Additionally, mouthwashes with hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals can be used to erase teeth stains.

This could be a frustrating behavior, especially if you smoke continuously, but brush your teeth after smoking whenever you can.

Experts claim that brushing your teeth immediately after smoking effectively removes tar and chemicals that could otherwise become embedded in the tiny pores and rough surfaces of the enamel and cause teeth stains and potential gum disease.

Consume foods that produce saliva

The finest home remedies for a teeth whitening treatment that will help you remove nicotine stains on your teeth are apples, carrots, and celery.

In actuality, these foods generate extra saliva, which serves as the body's built-in washing mechanism. Additionally, eating foods high in vitamin C helps to keep your mouth healthy and free of many mouth disorders by preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Additionally, citrus foods like oranges, apple cider vinegar, and pineapples help to produce more saliva, which helps to clean and whiten teeth. Lemons and other citrus fruits are excellent for whitening teeth due to the malic acid, which helps oxidize stains. And if you use lemons mixed with water, it can whiten and brighten your teeth; however, if you use too much, it could be excessively acidic, harming the tooth enamel. The use of acidic food and drinks is not recommended for teeth whitening by dentists.

Use baking soda to naturally clean your teeth

This one is one of the most common natural over-the-counter products for removing nicotine stains from your teeth. Yes, brushing with baking soda or a solution of baking soda and peroxide works well in removing tobacco stains from tooth surfaces.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive, and when combined with peroxide, it also aids in oxidizing stains and removing them. This is one of several simple natural remedies you can use to whiten discolored teeth without a dental professional. However, excessive baking soda use, particularly daily, can also erode your teeth's strength.

Use hydrogen peroxide mouthwash

Hydrogen peroxide is another excellent at-home treatment for removing stubborn stains from smoking. You must spit or gargle out the mixture after a few seconds and repeat several times after adding a little amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide to a glass of water.

You can also use this technique multiple times daily for improved outcomes.

Ask your dental professional for a recommendation for a different potent mouthwash if you are concerned about hydrogen peroxide's adverse effects. Additionally, while this process is time-consuming, it will lighten the long-term stains on teeth.

Regular dental exams & teeth whitening visits

It will help if you continue visiting your dentist regularly and using natural whitening treatments to prevent smoking stains.

You can visit your dentist to eliminate persistent nicotine stains with professional bleaching.

It is essential to visit your dentist for routine dental cleanings and professional whitening if stains are impossible to remove using at-home remedies. This will allow you to have bright, white teeth and possibly address some of the underlying problems causing stains, problems with gums, and bad breath.

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Options for whitening teeth

Your method of choice for removing dental stains will rely on multiple factors, including:

  • How nasty the stains are
  • What can you spend
  • How frequently you need to take care of your teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity

Having said that, there are three broad types of tooth-whitening solutions available. These consist of:

  • Professional teeth whitening
  • At-home remedies
  • DIY solutions

There are several at-home remedies to try at home before attempting professional treatment. There are plenty of options from whitening toothpaste, whitening gel, and even LED whitening kits you can order online.

As we have said, the best option is to quit smoking. However, suppose this is too challenging for you now. In that case, you may want to consider switching to electronic cigarettes, which are much more subtle in causing stains.

Professional teeth whitening 

A trip to the dentist's office can be necessary if you've tried multiple at-home solutions with little success or if you have any questions for your dentist. The professionals advise scheduling a visit with the dentist before using any whitening products.

However, one downside of an in-office treatment is these procedures often cost far more money and time out of your busy day.

Over-the-counter solutions like toothpaste or whitening strips won't be able to keep teeth white for too long because smoke deeply stains and nicotine affects every tooth in the mouth as well as gums. Because of this, smokers frequently seek out the expertise of dentists.

Quick and easy solutions

Professional teeth whitening such as the SNOW® AT HOME TEETH WHITENING KIT can help remove nicotine stains from your teeth.

This procedure entails using whitening wands and an LED mouthpiece to accelerate stain removal.

Personalized at-home remedies

The most efficient treatment is a 10 percent carbamide peroxide solution in a tray. made specifically for your mouth. This procedure creates a lower level of dental sensitivity. It allows a more extended amount of contact with the tooth (often overnight), which allows the substance to bleach deep stains.

Although in-office procedures can quicken the process, at-home whitening is also necessary for severely discolored teeth.

In-office whitening operations can often last three years or more but typically only last around one year in smokers.

Additionally, plaque, stains, and tartar can be removed with routine dental cleanings performed every six months. Staining can also be avoided with regular cleanings.

The takeaway on nicotine stains

Suppose you smoke or use other nicotine products. In that case, you need to be careful with your oral hygiene to reduce or eliminate the stains on teeth.

A smoker should anticipate bleaching twice as frequently as a nonsmoker due to the nicotine effect on teeth. The good news is that you can gradually brighten the appearance of your teeth by using expert procedures, do-it-yourself products, and other at-home techniques.


Is it true that smoking permanently stains one's teeth?

These teeth stains, fortunately, are not permanent and can be removed. At-home treatments and professional teeth whitening at the dentist are both options for teeth whitening.

What causes cigarette stains?

Nicotine and tar are the primary causes of dental staining in smokers. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes seep into the tooth enamel through tiny pores, discoloring the teeth. The tar gives the teeth a brown tint, while the nicotine, when combined with oxygen, causes yellowing.

Is it possible for a dentist to tell if you smoke?

Smoking has a number of negative effects on your teeth and gums. Your dentist will be able to identify these effects quickly. Yes, your dentist will be aware if you smoke. Yellow teeth, plaque, receding gums, and other indicators are among the warning signs.

Is it possible for a dentist to tell if you vape?

While some people switch from smoking to vaping because they believe it is a safer alternative, studies show that it is actually harmful to your teeth and gums. Vaping has the same negative effects on your oral health as smoking, and your dentist will know.

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