Do your gums grow back after quitting chewing tobacco?

I chewed tobacco for about 10 years and recently quit. I noticed that my gums had receded quite a bit. Will they grow back?

Thanks, Steve

Dear Steve,

It’s great that you were able to quit such an addicting habit that affects the entire mouth as well as your general health. Studies have shown that 10% to 30% of regular chew tobacco users have gum recession and develop some bone loss around the teeth. Besides gum recession other risk factors for tobacco use are sores in the mouth, oral cancer, tooth decay and sensitivity.

Unfortunately our gums do not grow back. Gum recession is usually permanent and difficult to repair. Stopping your tobacco use will prevent further gum recession; however you also have to make sure you have good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily as well as visiting your dentist every six months for your dental cleanings.

We advise you to address your gum recession concerns with your dentist who may recommend surgery of a more cosmetic or restorative nature to make your smile look more aesthetically pleasing.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist