The Centers for Disease Control warns that smokeless tobacco use can cause cancer, oral health problems, and nicotine addiction.
The effects of chewing tobacco on your teeth and overall health are very serious. Comfort Dental would like to take a moment and chew on this:
6 Chewing Tobacco Risks – Your Mouth, Teeth & Health
Stained Teeth & Bad Breath: Prolonged use of chewing tobacco can stain your teeth and tongue, as well as give you hard-to-cover foul breath…all very unattractive.
Dulled Sense of Taste and Smell: The harsh chemicals of chewing tobacco do more than impair your oral health; they also disrupt one’s sense of taste and smell.
Increased Tooth Decay: The sugar and other agents in smokeless tobacco damage your tooth enamel and contribute to cavities.
Slowed Healing After Extraction or Other Surgery: The irritating agents in chewing tobacco reduces or impairs the body’s ability to heal.
Gum Recession: Having a small “pinch” of chewing tobacco next to your gums causes constant irritation. The effect is permanent damage to your gums and the surrounding bone. Damaged gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, causing sensitivity and additional exposure to tooth decay. If bone surrounding the tooth erodes too much it can even result in permanent tooth loss.
Oral Cancer: Chewing tobacco with its 28-cancer causing agents leaves gums, cheeks, lips and throat in constant exposure to unhealthy juices. In addition, this tobacco use is also strongly associated with leukoplakia—a precancerous lesion of the soft tissue in the mouth that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off. This can result in cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. (If you need visual proof, just search “Effects of Smokeless Tobacco” in Google images – then brace yourself.)
Hear more about the effects of tobacco use on your oral health:
WHAT‘S THE BEST ANSWER? Quitting is the only way to decrease risks mentioned above and other tobacco-related health problems. The addictive quality of nicotine, found in cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, can make this especially difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a support network of people to help you stick to your plan.
Talk to Dr. Randall Brucken, Dr. Lawrence Stubbs or your doctor to see if the medications available would help you to stop using tobacco. Living in a tobacco-free environment is healthier for you and for those around you. Make a plan to quit, stick to it and start living a healthier life.
If you have any additional questions about chewing tobacco or oral cancer, feel free to let us know. We are here to help! We strive for well-informed, healthy patients.