Hello Alaska cosmetic dental friends. Today’s topic is ‘The Dangers Of Smokeless Tobacco’.
Cigarette sales at most Alaska stores have decreased in the past decade, but some Anchorage tobacco consumers have switched to smokeless products.
There is a common misconception in the AlaskaÂ area (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 conventional cigarettes.
At Excellence In 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 in Alaska.
Keeping a pinch between your cheek and gum all day is worse than keeping an all-day sucker. The tobacco contains almost as much sugar as the candy but delivers harmful chemicals as an added bonus. The dangers are two-fold: the tobacco erodes the teeth and also causes the gums to pull away from teeth.
Precancerous Mouth Lesion Screening in Alaska: Mouth Lesions are painful sores that could eventually become cancer. If smokeless tobacco use is stopped, the lesions often disappear within a year for Alaska dental patients.
Oral Cancer inÂ Alaska: Smokeless tobacco use in AlaskaÂ increases the risk for 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 Alaska 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. I should also mention two other biggies: addiction and heart disease, though those are topics for another day.
If want to quit using smokeless tobacco products, we recommend that you consult Dr. Johnson at Excellence In Dentistry, your primary care doctor, or your AlaskaÂ pharmacist.
Excellence In Dentistry
1000 Omalley Rd, Ste 101
Anchorage, Alaska 99515