Cigarette sales at most Dallas 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 traditional cigarettes.
At Dr. Howard Kessner General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, 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. Tobacco contains almost as much sugar as candy but delivers dangerous chemicals as an added bonus. The dangers are two-fold: tobacco erodes the teeth and also causes the gums to pull away from the teeth.
Precancerous Mouth Lesion Screening: Mouth lesions are painful sores that could eventually become cancer. If smokeless tobacco use is stopped, the lesions typically disappear within a year for many dental patients.
Oral Cancer: Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk of 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. In addition, I should also mention two other biggies: addiction and heart disease, though those are topics for another day.
At Dr. Howard Kessner General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in Dallas, we perform oral cancer screenings and mouth lesions examinations. To receive more information, or schedule an appointment, call 972-248-8525.
If you want to quit using smokeless tobacco products, we recommend that you speak with Doctor Kessner at Dr. Howard Kessner General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, your primary care doctor, or your pharmacist.
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