So You Think Smokeless Tobacco Must Be Safer? Think Again…
More people have cut down on smoking over the years due to an increase in education, but according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the usage of smokeless tobacco (also known as chewing tobacco) has actually been on the increase since 2000. Quite alarming, right? In most cases, this is because it is perceived as less dangerous because it cannot be inhaled, therefore, has a much lower risk of leading to lung cancer.
When people use chewing tobacco, the chew sits along the gum line in the mouth, as the person sucks on it. Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it?!
This then causes saliva to build up, which is why people who chew tobacco will often spit. It is actually quite common among baseball players.
Nicotine is then absorbed into the bloodstream via the tissues in the mouth.
So then, you may have a much lower risk of lung cancer, but what about oral cancer? Oral cancer is a very serious disease to treat and can cause death.
Here are some of the frightening effects of oral cancer:
- Decreased saliva in mouth
- Loss of speech
- Harder to eat
- Head, neck, or facial disfigurement
And if that’s not enough to scare you (although I hope it is), well, you are sure to also have bad breath, stained teeth, sores in the mouth, bleeding or cracked lips, and even receding gums. And you know what receding gums can lead to? Tooth loss! And on top of that, it can definitely affect your dating and professional life.
Smokeless tobacco can also lead to:
- Increased heart rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
All of which can put you at a higher risk of stroke, brain damage, and heart attack.
The moral of the story: no one wins with any type of tobacco product. Get the help to quit now!
Also, book an appointment with your dentist regularly for a checkup, cleaning, and so they can also check for any signs of oral cancer or other related issues. Call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry for dental services in Surrey, BC.