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Smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes

About smoking

A study conducted by the Texas Cancer Council indicates that 6.8 million Americans consume snuff or chewing tobacco. In fact, many believe that it is less damaging than smoking tobacco. They are wrong!

Smokeless tobacco is more susceptible to create dependence because of the higher levels of nicotine it contains compared to a normal cigarette. It is also the cause of different oral afflictions, from dental decay to cancer.

Recent studies have also demonstrated that electronic cigarettes are as damaging as other tobacco products.

Buccodental afflictions

If you consume smokeless tobacco, you become more susceptible to cavities. Tobacco contributes to the formation of cavities and the receding of your gum, leading to tooth loss. Tobacco is a also a cause of:

  • bad breath;
  • teeth staining;
  • sensitivity to heat or cold;
  • lessened olfactory and taste acuity.

Oral cancers

Researchers have identified 28 carcinogenic substances in snuff and chewing tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, around 40,000 new cases of oral cancer are reported each year. Experts estimate that 80% to 90% of these new cases are caused by tobacco consumption. When paired with alcohol consumption, risks of oral cancer are heightened.

If detected and treated later than the first stages of development, oral cancer can spread and lead to chronic pain, loss of function, postoperative disfigurement and even death.

Symptoms of oral cancer

Oral cancers often originate on the tongue, the floor of the mouth and the soft tissues of the lips and gums. Symptoms include:

  • a wound that will not heal on the lips or in the mouth;
  • a lump in the mouth or the throat;
  • white or red spots on the gums, the tongue, the lips or the inside of the cheek;
  • unusual bleeding of the mouth or the throat;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • persistent hoarseness.

If you suffer from one of these symptoms, immediately talk to your dentist.

Protect your smile

The sooner oral cancer is detected and treated, the better your chances at survival. Do a monthly check-up of your tongue, your mouth and your lips and visit us every six months for a routine exam and cancer screening.

Your dentist can clean your teeth, treat bad breath and gum inflammation from tobacco usage and even assist you in ending your dependence to smokeless tobacco.