Q. Can chronic smoking cause painful bubbles in the mouth?

Answered by
Dr. Beryl Fredrick
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 27, 2022

Hi doctor,

I am 27 years old and have been smoking cigarettes past seven years. However, now I have a problem. There are some bubbles in my mouth, which are painful, and my tongue is fully whitish. Please help.



Welcome to

I understand your concern. Those bubbles could be a common mouth ulcer (canker sore), and the white layer on your tongue could be a fungal infection most commonly seen in smokers.

Mouth ulcer has various causative factors. It could be because of smoking, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, psychological stress, allergies, accidental trauma, or bacterial infection. It may take a couple of weeks to resolve if that is a common mouth ulcer.

Meanwhile, I suggest the following:

1. Avoid hot and spicy food.

2. Do warm saline mouth rinses thrice daily.

3. Rinse your mouth after every meal.

4. Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated at all times.

Maintaining good oral hygiene and following the above instructions will prevent further ulcer infection and promote faster healing. If the pain is unmanageable, a topical anesthetic like Orajel (Benzocaine) or Dentojel (Choline salicylate and Lidocaine) can be applied over the ulcer with a clean finger. And if it is a fungal infection on the tongue, it would require professional treatment like a prescription of appropriate antifungal mouthwashes or ointments to stop fungal growth.

A clear clinical picture of the tongue coating and ulcer will help identify and diagnose the problem. Hence I suggest you consult your dentist, discuss with them, and take the medicines with their consent.

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