The rise of smokeless tobacco as a replacement for traditional cigarettes has sparked some myths that these this type of tobacco doesn’t cause the damage to the mouth and overall health of a person that regular cigarettes do. However, this is not true.
Smokeless tobacco products may not have the exact same effects as cigarettes, but they aren’t harmless. These are some of the potential hazards:
- Tooth abrasion from grit in chewing tobacco can scratch teeth and wear away enamel
- The constant irritation caused by chewing tobacco can result in gum recession and other permanent damage to periodontal tissue
- Tooth discoloration and bad breath are common side effects
- Nicotine blood levels of those who chew tobacco are similar to those found in cigarettes
- Cancer can be caused by all forms of smokeless tobacco
- A sore that does not heal in the mouth
- A lump or white patch on the tongue, cheeks or palate
- A prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty chewing
- Stiff tongue or jaw
All tobacco users should regularly see a dentist and a doctor to monitor overall health and oral health. Keeping an eye out for any abnormalities can prevent longterm damage.
Have more questions about smokeless tobacco and its effects on the mouth? Contact the professionals at DentaLux today or leave us a comment below!