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Tobacco and Your Teeth

Introduction

Tobacco is the leaf of a plant found commonly in Asia and Brazil. It is usually used in it's dry form. Regular use of tobacco not only effects your dental health but also the rest of your body. Tobacco in different forms is used by people all over the world.

Types of Tobacco products

  • Snuff - is a finely ground version of processed tobacco . It is usually sniffed into the nose and is the most common cause of cancer of the nose and the upper respirtory system .

  • Chewing tobacco- is an important cause of oral cancer . Tobacco in the form of shredded or pressed bricks and cakes, called plugs, or rope-like strands called twists are used for chewing. Users ''pinch'' or ''dip' 'tobacco and place a wad in their cheek or between their lower lip and gums. It is commonly believed that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking, which is false, as it has been proved that chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine, thus making it more addictive than smoking cigarettes.
  • Tobacco smoking: Tobacco is rolled in paper or a leaf and then smoked, that is it could be cigarettes or bidis. Smoking not only causes oral cancer but can also cause lung cancer with throat cancer as a bonus along its path.

EFFECT OF TOBACCO USE ON ORAL HEALTH:

  • bad breath
  • discolored teeth
  • decreased smell and taste
  • increased risk of developing cavities
  • grit in snuff eats away at the gums, exposing tooth roots, which are sensitive to hot and cold temperature and can be very painful .
  • Sugar in chewing tobacco also causes decay.
  • Long term use of tobacco results in oral cancer.

If you fall into the category of long term users, keep a watch for any white patch on your cheek or any other part of your mouth, an ulcer which does not heal for along time, or if your mouth opening has reduced. Consult your dentist or doctor in case you notice any of the above signs.

EFFECT OF TOBAACCO USE ON GENERAL HEALTH:

  • Smoking reduces appetite, thus resulting in weight loss, which in turn reduces the immunity of the body and makes you more susceptible to other diseases.

  • Smoking also effects the lungs, thus causing breathlessness, chronic cough and emphysema in addition to causing cancer of the lungs.

  • The most severe consequence of tobacco use is the addiction which, people are often aware of, but yet take the risk and sometimes live to regret.

Resources

From Depak Vaswani Oral Surgeon @ http://members.rediff.com/deepakvaswani/index.htm


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