Chewing tobacco affects your dental health as well as the rest of your body. If you use smokeless tobacco and have thought about quitting, your dentist can help. In the meantime, here are a few facts that may help you decide to join the many who are tobacco-free. Chewing tobacco includes snuff, a finely ground version of processed tobacco, and chewing tobacco in the form of shredded or pressed bricks and cakes, called plugs, or rope-like strands called twists. Users “pinch” or “dip” tobacco and place a wad in their cheek or between their lower lip and gums. In India it comes with ‘katha’ -lime.
Isn’t it safer than smoking?
Absolutely not. Some wrongly believe that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking cigarettes. But chewing tobacco is more addictive because it contains higher levels of addictive nicotine than cigarettes and can be harder to quit than cigarettes. One can of snuff delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. About 8,000 people die every year from tobacco use. About 70 percent of those deaths are from oral cancer. Other cancers caused by tobacco include cancer of the pancreas, nasal cavity, urinary tract, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, intestines and the stomach. Kids who use spit tobacco products are 4 to 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-users and tobacco juice-related cancers can form within five year of regular use. Among high school seniors who have ever used chewing tobacco, almost three- fourths began by the Std. eight.
EFFECT ON DENTAL HEALTH
It causes bad breath, discolours teeth and promotes tooth decay that leads to tooth loss. Chewing tobacco users have a decreased sense of smell and taste, and they are at greater risk of developing cavities. The grit in snuff eats away at gums, exposing tooth roots which are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and can be painful. Sugar in chewing tobacco causes decay. Chewing tobacco users also have a hard time getting their teeth clean.