Smokeless Tobacco & Oral Health

Smokeless tobacco products include chewing tobacco & snuff. These products are as harmful as smoking cigarettes. They are also just as addictive as cigarettes& do have serious health risks. Smokeless tobacco causes the following health risks:

- White, leather type patches that form on the gums. These patches can turn into cancer of the mouth   (Oral Cancer), Involving the lip, tongue, or cheek.

- Dental Problems, such as abrasion of the teeth, Discolorations of the teeth, gum recessions and    periodontal bone loss.

- Lesions may develop on the various soft tissues of the mouth.

- Restricted mouth opening

- Burning sensation in mucosa with recurrent aphthous stomatitis (ulcers)occurrence

- Increased risks of Oral cancer with decreasing immunity

- Jaw problem

- Delayed healing associated with bone loss

- An increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

- Nicotine form smokeless tobacco can lead to nicotine dependence. This can make quitting    smokeless tobacco just as hard as quitting cigarettes.

Smoking & Oral Health

Smoking leads to dental problems, including:

- Bad breath

- Tooth discolouration

- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings

- Increased build of plaque – calculus – tartar on the teeth surfaces

- Increased risk of developing gum diseases

- Developing risks of teeth loss

- Increased loss of bone within the jaws

- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction , periodontal treatment, or oral surgery

- Increased risk leukoplakia like white lesions, inside the mouth

- Increased risk of developing oral cancer


Patient should always contact doctor or dentist immediately if they notice the following symptoms in themselves or in a loved one:

- A lump or thickening in the cheek mucosa

- A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within 2-3 weeks

- A white or red lesions on the gums, tonsil or lining of the mouth

- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing

- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

- Sore throat: feeling that something is caught in the throat.

- Swelling of the jaw

- Numbness of the tongue or some area of the mouth

- Feeling restricted mouth – jaw opening

- Burning of mucosa (lip, cheek, etc.)

Oral Cancer Diagnostic Tests

If your doctor suspects you may have oral cancer, one or more of the following tests may be used to find out of you have cancer and if it has spread.

- Brush Biopsy

- Incisional Biopsy

- Fine-needle-aspiration Biopsy

- Mucosal Staining

- Chemiluminescent Light

- Imaging Tests

Cancer Treatment

Oral Cancer Treatment includes:

- Surgery (Laser Surgery , Electro Surgery , Cryosurgery)

- Chemotherapy

- Radiation

- Other Cancer Treatment (Immunotherapy , Stem cell transplants)