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How to remove nicotine stains from the gums & lips

Updated March 23, 2017

Aside from the health risks, smoking has another nasty side effect: nicotine stains. These stains affect any area that is in close contact with the cigarette, which includes the fingers, teeth, lips and gums. Smoking filtered or even light cigarettes does not prevent nicotine staining. These nicotine stains can be an unsightly visible sign that you are a smoker.

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  1. Stop smoking. This may seem obvious, but it is by far the most critical step to removing nicotine stains from your gums and lips. While there are a variety of ways to remove stains from the gums and lips, continuing to smoke will only make the stains worse instead of removing them.

  2. Apply citrus. Freshly cut lemons can be used to bleach nicotine stains on the lips. Cut a small slice of lemon and apply it (flesh part down) onto the lip stains and hold it there for between two and five minutes. Do this daily.

  3. Take vitamins. Vitamins C and E are important for the replenishment of skin, and taking these vitamins will help increase the tissue turnover in the gums and lips, which will diminish the appearance of nicotine stains.

  4. Floss and brush your teeth regularly. Nicotine stains in gums are caused in part by nicotine's ability to constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow. Flossing and stimulating your gums with your toothbrush increases blood flow to the gums, which counteracts the effects of nicotine and also encourages new tissue to grow, which will get rid of the stains.

  5. Keep your lips moisturised. Dry lips are more likely to be stained by nicotine and the stains will also be more visible on dry lips. Applying vaseline or some other moisturiser will reduce the appearance of nicotine stains and also help the lips heal, which will remove the stains.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lemon or other citrus
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Floss and Toothbrush
  • Vaseline or Lip Moisturizer

About the Author

Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.

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