Purple Gums
Purple Gums

When Your Gums Become Purple: Smoker’s Melanosis

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Smoker’s Melanosis: When Your Gums Turn Purple


Do you have purple gums? It’s likely a sign of Smoker’s melanosis. This condition affects the gums, palate, and inside of the cheeks, turning them a deep purple or brown color. In this blog post, we’ll explore what causes Smoker’s melanosis, how to treat it, and more. Read on to learn more about the condition that causes purple gums.

Purple Gums
Purple Gums

What is smoker’s melanosis?

Smoker’s melanosis is a condition in which the gums turn purple or brown. This condition is typically caused by years of smoking and can affect the gums, palate, and inside of the cheeks. It is characterized by dark discoloration and a purple hue on the gums, known as “purple gums”. Smoker’s melanosis is not a serious condition and can be reversed with lifestyle changes and professional dental care.


What causes smoker’s melanosis?

Smoker’s melanosis, also known as smoker’s patches, is a condition that causes purple or brown discoloration of the gums. It is caused by an excessive and prolonged exposure to tar, nicotine, and other harmful chemicals found in tobacco products. The purple gums can also be caused by poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, and trauma to the gums. Smoker’s melanosis can also be caused by certain medications, such as some antibiotics, antifungal medications, and corticosteroids.

Smoker’s melanosis is more common in those who have been smoking for a long period of time and in those who are heavy smokers. People who have conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure may also be more likely to develop smoker’s melanosis.


How is smoker’s melanosis treated?

Treating smoker’s melanosis involves stopping smoking and removing the discoloration. In some cases, an antibiotic ointment may be prescribed to help prevent infection. If the discoloration persists, a laser can be used to remove the dark spots.

In cases of purple gums, an antibiotic mouth rinse may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and help reduce the discoloration. Additionally, your dentist may suggest a topical cream or gel to help lighten the discolored areas of your gums. Your dentist may also recommend a gum surgery procedure to remove the dark pigment from the affected areas.

In some cases, your dentist may also prescribe vitamin supplements and mouth rinses to help improve your oral health and reduce discoloration. While treatment options are available, it is important to note that smoker’s melanosis can take several months to completely resolve.


Can smoker’s melanosis be prevented?

Smoker’s melanosis is a condition that can cause the gums to turn purple or brown. Although there is no way to completely prevent it, there are certain measures you can take to reduce the risk of developing it.

The most important step is to quit smoking. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of smoker’s melanosis, and quitting will not only help prevent the condition but also improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene is essential for preventing smoker’s melanosis. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, as well as regularly visiting your dentist for cleanings and check-ups, can help keep your gums healthy and reduce the risk of developing purple gums.

Finally, if you are already showing signs of smoker’s melanosis, it is important to seek treatment from a dental professional. They can provide advice and treatment options to help manage and reverse the discoloration caused by the condition.


Why is my gums turned purple?

Smoker’s melanosis is a condition that occurs when the gums become discolored and turn purple due to long-term smoking. This occurs due to tar and nicotine pigments from smoking being absorbed into the gums, which causes them to darken in color. In severe cases, the gums can become so dark they look black or even bruised. It can also occur in non-smokers, but it is much more common in those who smoke heavily over long periods of time. Smoker’s melanosis is not dangerous and does not cause any health problems. However, it can be embarrassing and even lead to psychological issues such as low self-esteem or depression. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition, but typically involve laser therapy or other cosmetic procedures to lighten the gums. If caught early enough, preventive measures such as quitting smoking, maintaining good oral hygiene, and avoiding certain foods and beverages can help prevent the condition from progressing further.


Can you fix purple gums?

The answer is yes, you can fix purple gums. Smoker’s melanosis, a condition that can cause your gums to turn purple, is typically reversible with the right treatment. Treatment usually involves quitting smoking, and other lifestyle changes, like reducing alcohol consumption and avoiding certain foods. Your dentist may also recommend a special mouthwash to help reduce inflammation and discoloration in your gums. In addition to quitting smoking, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for regular cleanings to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. With proper care, the discoloration should eventually fade and your gums should return to their normal color.


Why do my gums look bruised?

The color of your gums can change for a variety of reasons. Bruised-looking gums may be caused by smoker’s melanosis, which is a discoloration caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. This condition usually causes the gums to become purple in color. Another possible cause of purple gums is trauma, such as an injury from brushing or flossing too hard. In both cases, the discoloration should fade over time with proper dental care. If your gums are bruised and do not heal, it is important to contact your dentist right away to rule out any underlying issues.



Smoker’s melanosis is a condition that causes the gums to turn purple or brown. While this change may be alarming, it can be reversed with proper treatment. Unfortunately, once purple gums have formed, they may be difficult to fix. If you are worried about your purple gums, speak to your dentist or healthcare provider for advice on how to treat and prevent further discoloration. Taking care of your oral hygiene is key in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so make sure you brush and floss regularly.

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