White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

Is smokeless tobacco bad for oral health?

The answer is a resounding “yes.” Smokeless tobacco can harm your oral health as well as your general health. The effects of using smokeless tobacco can range from the merely unsavory, like bad breath and discolored teeth, to the deadly, like cancer. Using smokeless tobacco can also increase the risk of tooth decay because of the sugar that is added to smokeless tobacco. Nicotine blood levels in users of smokeless tobacco are similar to those found in cigarette smokers. Use of smokeless tobacco can result in diminished senses of taste and smell, which in turn can lead to unhealthy eating habits. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the mouth and can lead to gum problems.

Here are some danger signs to watch out for: a sore in the mouth that does not heal, difficulty chewing, a sore throat that doesn't go away, any sort of restriction in the movement of the tongue or jaw, a lump or white patch in the mouth, or a feeling that something is in your throat. Everyone should see a dentist regularly and that includes anyone who uses any sort of tobacco product.