Can smoking irritate your gums?

You know smoking is bad for your health, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are also harmful to your oral health, including your gums. 

Other possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products include:
  • stained teeth and tongue
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease and irritated gums
  • bad breath
  • oral cancer
Quitting smoking is the only prevention. For more information and free resources on how to quit, visit

Smoking can irritate your gums, teeth, tongue, and throat. In fact, smoking can predispose to oral cancer and it worsens the complications of diabetes. Most people know smoking is bad for their health but many do not know how much damage it can do in the mouth. Many people who quit do so because it irritates their teeth or gums so badly that they overcome the addiction. Smoking has been known to decrease circulation in the mouth, impair the immune system, and cause inflammation and pain. Smoking stains the teeth and increases your risk for periodontal disease dramatically, up to 10 times more than if you didn't smoke. Quit now. Your doctor and dentist can help you with medications, advice, and encouragement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.