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Smokeless Tobacco, The Silent Destroyer

Smokeless Tobacco, The Silent Destroyer

Many people think that smokeless tobacco (also called chewing tobacco, spit, dip, snuff and chew,) is harmless. Smokeless tobacco has over 3,000 chemicals, including 28 carcinogens or cancer-causing substances. One can of smokeless tobacco delivers as much nicotine as three packs of cigarettes. Holding an average sized dip in your mouth for 30 minutes gives you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes.

Tobacco use is the single largest cause of death in the United States, and can result in systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease and numerous types of cancer. Smokeless tobacco users have a higher daytime heart rate than nonusers and have twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Smokeless tobacco users suffer 1.5 times higher cholesterol than nonusers and has been linked to pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

In the mouth, smokeless tobacco users experience many symptoms including oral cancer, leukoplakia, periodontal disease, higher decay rate and tooth loss. Chew/spit tobacco users have an increased risk of cancer of the cheek, gingivae or tongue by 50-fold over that of nonusers. Since oral cancer is commonly diagnosed after it has metastasized, the 5-year relative survival rate is just 59%. Smokeless tobacco contains high levels of sugar, causing periodontal disease and tooth decay to be common signs in smokeless tobacco users.

Today, there are many alternatives to help quit tobacco use. Nicotine therapy agents, such as gums or patches, are available over the counter. Prescriptions, like Zyban or Chantix, can be prescribed by physicians and dentists to help with tobacco cessation. If you are a tobacco user, see your healthcare provider to get the help you need to stop smoking today.

Stanley Dentistry is committed to better oral health and practices oral cancer screenings with vizilyte technology as part of biannual dental exams and professional cleanings. 

The dentists and team at Stanley Dentistry are accepting new patients. Contact us today!

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