Chewing tobacco is known by many names: dip, chew, smokeless tobacco, or snuff. Regardless of what you call it chewing tobacco is highly addictive and has some major oral health drawbacks. Today Parkcrest Dental Group would like to discuss some of the ways in which chewing tobacco can be harmful.
#1 – Gum Recession
Having a pinch of chewing tobacco next to your gums causes constant irritation to the surrounding area. Worst of all, the damage is permanent. If gum recession gets to the point where your tooth roots are exposed you are more susceptible to root cavities and increased tooth sensitivity as well. In extreme cases, gum recession can even get to the point that results in permanent tooth loss. At your next Parkcrest Dental Group visit, discuss the dangers of periodontal disease to tooth loss and you will realize the danger chewing tobacco poses to your gum health.
#2 – Stained Teeth and Halitosis
Chewing tobacco contains a large amount of sugar which forms an acid that can eat away at tooth enamel. Once the tooth is exposed stains enter into the microscopic pores of the tooth and can result in discoloration. In addition, chewing tobacco causes halitosis, or bad breath, for a number of reasons. Tobacco mixed with saliva can cause a potent odor – especially when your mouth begins to dry from chewing tobacco use.
#3 – Leukoplakia
Chewing tobacco users can often develop a condition in which white or greyish spots develop on the tongue, cheeks, and gums. It is not usually painful and can go unnoticed for a while. Though most leukoplakia patches are benign some show early signs of cancer. If you notice white patches as a result of chewing tobacco use, contact Parkcrest Dental Group for an oral cancer screening immediately.
#4 – Cancer
Which brings us to our most dangerous side effect of chewing tobacco use, cancer. As chewing tobacco contains 28 different carcinogens, cancers are a major risk with continued chewing tobacco use. Cancers are most likely to develop at the site where tobacco is held in the mouth, but can also occur in the pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. If you need any more reason to quit using chewing tobacco, search for effects of chewing tobacco in google images. Be warned, these images are not easy to look at and many are not safe for work.
Contact Parkcrest Dental Group For More Information
Sustained chewing tobacco use puts you at risk for many negative oral health issues. If you are a current, or recent chewing tobacco user we urge you to contact Parkcrest Dental Group for a dental health screening to assess the damage done. We are experienced with treating the negative impacts of chewing tobacco and have the friendly staff to make sure you are comfortable. Call the Parkcrest Dental Group today at 417.887.1220.