Cigarette sales at most stores have decreased in the past decade, but some tobacco consumers have switched to smokeless products.
There is a common misconception (especially among teens) that smokeless tobacco is harmless. This is absolutely not true. Regardless of the specific type: spit tobacco, snuff, chew, or pinch, this form of tobacco is as deadly as old-school cigarettes.
At Parsons Smile Center, we encounter serious consequences of smokeless tobacco use because many occur in the mouth. Oral cancer, mouth lesions, gum disease and tooth decay are the most common dental problems caused by smokeless tobacco.
Keeping a pinch between your cheek and gum all day is worse than keeping an all-day sucker tucked in there. The tobacco contains almost as much sugar as the candy but delivers harmful chemicals as an added bonus. The dangers are two-fold: the tobacco erodes the teeth and also causes the gums to pull away from teeth.
Precancerous Mouth Lesion Screenings: Mouth lesions are painful sores that could eventually become cancer. If smokeless tobacco use is stopped, the lesions ordinarily disappear within a year.
Oral Cancer: Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk for several types of life-threatening cancers including those of the mouth, gums, lips, tongue, and throat.
Oral cancers can be as deadly as lung cancer and usually require surgery. If the patient is fortunate and the cancer is successfully removed with surgery, the collateral damage to the face, neck, or jaw is not pretty.
These are the main dental risks of smokeless tobacco. Other risks include addiction and heart disease.
If want to quit using smokeless tobacco products, we recommend that you talk to Dr. Salha at Parsons Smile Center, your primary care doctor, or your local pharmacist.
Contact Parsons Smile Center: 718-939-0862
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