Everyone knows that tobacco is harmful to your health, but many people believe that smokeless tobacco doesn’t fall into the same category. Just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless. It’s dangerous for your overall health, but also for your oral health. Here are some possible oral health outcomes of using smokeless tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which combines with the plaque on your teeth to damage your tooth enamel and cause decay.
Placing chewing tobacco in your mouth at the same spot over and over can permanently damage your gums. It can also harm your bone structure. Your irritated gums may pull away from your teeth, expose your tooth roots, and leave your teeth painful and susceptible to decay. Receding gums sometimes also loosen your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out.
Smokeless tobacco stains your teeth, causing embarrassing yellow and brown discoloration. It is extremely difficult to remove with normal brushing, and even professional teeth whitening may not completely remove these stubborn stains.
Your breath will suffer from tobacco products of any kind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mint-flavored smokeless tobacco hides the problem.
Smokeless tobacco can be gritty and scratch your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Loss of tooth enamel increases sensitivity and may require treatment.
The consistent placement of tobacco inside your gums and the irritating juices accompanying it can cause a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. All smokeless tobacco contains cancer-causing agents, which subject users to higher cancer risk in the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx.
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