What Do Family Dentists Say About Chewing Tobacco?

Family dentists give the big thumbs down to chewing tobacco, just as they do to smokeable tobacco. That is because tobacco contains many known and possible carcinogens and other toxins that can lead to many risks to oral and overall health.

All types of chewing tobacco are dangerous

According to the ADA, there are two main types of smokeless tobacco: chewing tobacco and snuff. These, as well as other types of smokeless tobacco, can pose serious risks to your oral health, just like smokeable tobacco.

Chewing tobacco

Chewing tobacco comes in long strands of leaves or plugs that the user inserts into their cheek and chews. While the user chews, the tobacco releases nicotine. The user will later spit out the tobacco.

Snuff

Snuff is the finely ground powder of tobacco, available either dry or moist. Dry snuff is inhaled through the nose. For moist snuff, the user will grab a large pinch and insert it under the bottom lip, right against the gums. As it sits, the tobacco will release the nicotine.

Chewing tobacco is horrible for overall health. The Oral Health Foundation warns that chewing tobacco can lead to type-2 diabetes, dementia, and lung disease, as well as various cancers

Tobacco and oral health

Chewing tobacco is no better for oral health. In fact, the carcinogens in tobacco are able to leach into the gums and mouth area as it sits in the cheek or under the lip.

The ADA warns that chewing tobacco can lead to several oral health catastrophes, such as gum disease, tooth loss, tissue erosion and bone loss.

The Oral Health Foundation states that the biggest health risk of chewing tobacco is mouth cancer, but the chemicals in smokeless tobacco also increase the likelihood of pharyngeal, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

How to quit chewing tobacco

Family dentists urge tobacco users to quit as soon as possible because the health risks are so high. There are many ways to tackle an addiction to chewing tobacco.

Stress management

Tobacco is frequently used to reduce stress. Find new ways to minimize stress, such as taking walks, listening to music, confiding in friends, exercising or talking with a therapist, among other methods.

Gradual withdrawal

Talk to healthcare professionals for advice on the best way to reduce dependency on tobacco, as there are many products and home remedies available to help.

Proper diet and hydration

Some people choose to use tobacco under the belief that it helps with digestion. In fact, use of any kind of tobacco product can contribute to such digestive problems as heartburn, peptic ulcers and increased risk for Crohn's disease. The best way to aid digestion is to follow a diet of nutritious whole foods and plenty of water.

Conclusion

Tobacco in all of its forms can have serious health implications. Family dentists do not approve of chewing tobacco, and they urge users to quit as quickly as possible to minimize further risk of cancers, gum disease and tooth and bone loss. Talk to your dentist for more help on quitting tobacco.

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