Q. Have my gums receded because of placing smokeless tobacco in the same spot for years?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 30, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 17, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a 32-year-old male. I have used smokeless tobacco called Swedish Snus for going on four years now, always in the same spot. My gums have severely receded in this area. I am otherwise healthy. I recently made an appointment with a periodontist, but I am terrified I may have gum cancer. I noticed about a week after I quit putting smokeless tobacco in this area the gums became extremely sore and are still sore two weeks later. I do not see any lesions in this area of my mouth, but the gums look 'pickled' in the best way I can put it. I do not know if the soreness I am feeling is from the gum tissue or exposed roots in that area of my mouth.



Welcome to

I have reviewed the images posted (attachment removed to protect patient identity). You have to change your brushing technique as soon as possible.

Brush in an up-and-down motion without putting too much pressure on the teeth and gums.

The recession is not any cancer. Instead, it seems to be a side effect of intense brushing.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can consult a periodontist to find out ways to regenerate or surgically stitch back the gums to their old position.

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