A longitudinal population study of 1462 women, aged 38-60, was started in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1968-69. In univariate analysis of the results from 1968-69, smokers were found to have a significantly lower number of remaining teeth than non-smokers had. The differences between smokers and non-smokers with respect to edentulousness and number of remaining teeth was further accentuated 12 yr later. The mean number of teeth lost during the 12-yr follow-up period was 3.5 among smokers and 2.1 among non-smokers, i.e. 67% higher among smokers than among non-smokers. The associations were independent of age, education, socio-economic group, marital status, frequency of toothbrushing, and frequency of visits to a dentist. It is concluded that smoking seems to play an important role as far as tooth loss is concerned.