Smokeless Tobacco

Causes bad breath, discolors teeth and promotes tooth decay that leads to tooth loss. Smokeless tobacco users have a decreased sense of smell and taste and they are at greater risk of developing cavities. The grit in tobacco eats away at gums, exposing tooth roots, which are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and can be painful. At times the smokeless tobacco sold in gutkas has sugar which further contributes to decay. Smokeless tobacco users also have a hard time getting their teeth clean.

The most common sign of possible cancer in smokeless tobacco users is leukoplakia, a white, scaly patch or lesion inside the mouth or lips, common among many spit tobacco users. Red sores are also a warning sign of cancer. Often, signs of pre-cancerous lesions are undetectable. Dentists can diagnose and treat such cases before the condition develops into oral cancer. If a white or red sore appears and doesn't heal, see your dentist immediately for a test to see if it's pre-cancerous. Smokeless tobacco users should see their dentist every three months, to make sure a problem doesn't develop. It has been observed that 60 to 78 percent of daily users of smokeless tobacco have oral lesions.

Smokeless Tobacco and Your Oral Health

Smokeless (Spit) 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.

Spit 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.