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Is Chewing Tobacco Safer than Smoking for Your Oral Health?

Posted on 8/23/2021 by Thomas Mahar
Is Chewing Tobacco Safer than Smoking for Your Oral Health?Some people who chew tobacco believe that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking. However, both habits can lead to some real dental concerns and problems.

How Chewing Tobacco Damages the Gums and Teeth

Both smoking and tobacco chewing can lead to some real health issues, as the habits can stain the teeth, lead to dry mouth, and cause infection and decay. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, you need to find ways to refrain from the habit. The longer you chew tobacco or smoke, the more problems will develop with your gum and teeth.

How Chewing Tobacco Damages the Teeth

Besides staining the teeth, chewing smokeless tobacco, also called dip, is public enemy #1 when it comes to tooth and gum care. Often, makers of smokeless tobacco add sugar to enhance the flavor – a practice that leads to decay and the development of cavities.

A Pinch of Tobacco Can Lead to a Whole Lot of Dental Woes

Holding a small pinch of chewing tobacco in the gums can lead to gingival irritation and bone loss. When this happens, the gums can pull away from the teeth, leading to tooth mobility and tooth loss. In addition, when gums recede, you will experience more tooth sensitivity as the roots and nerves of the teeth become exposed. The gum tissue will not grow back. You can only treat the problem with a scaling and root planing (SRP) or with a procedure, such as a gum graft.

Developing Mouth and Throat Cancer

Chewing smokeless tobacco can also lead to the development of mouth cancer or increase your risk for other cancers, such as laryngeal or pharynx cancer. Therefore, smoking or chewing tobacco are both habits you need to avoid. One is not less dangerous than the other.

If you currently chew tobacco, you need to get help to quit. You also need to have your teeth professionally cleaned more frequently. Give us a call today if you have not scheduled a professional cleaning and exam lately. We can always accommodate your schedule and your dental needs.

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