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I Used to Chew Tobacco. How Could That Affect My Teeth?


Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
A person breaking a cigaretteBetween 15 and 20 percent of men have tried chewing tobacco in the past, but many men quit chewing before they reach senior status. In fact, more than 60 percent of people who used to chew tobacco no longer use the product, and that is cause for celebration! However, if you used to use chewing tobacco, you need to let our dentist know because there are things they should watch for.

Risks Associated With Chewing Tobacco for Your Dental Health


Chewing tobacco can damage your dental health in several ways. While some of the damage goes away over time if you have stopped chewing, there are things the dentist needs to check you for each time you visit.

People who chew tobacco have excess tar and chemicals on their teeth. That tar leads to tooth staining. Also, chewing tobacco, like using any other nicotine product, means that you are lowering the amount of saliva in your mouth. Decreased saliva leads to an increased chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva actually helps get rid of excess bacteria in your mouth, which means you have less risk of periodontal disease or dental caries (cavities).

Also, chewing tobacco slows healing in your mouth. If you have a cavity filled, a root canal, or a deep gum cleaning, it will take you longer to heal and recover than it does someone who does not chew tobacco.

What is most concerning about chewing tobacco is the risk of oral cancer. Because the chemicals in chewing tobacco stay in your mouth for long periods, they can cause your cheek and gum cells to mutate, which can eventually cause oral cancer.

Tell the Dentist if You Are a Former Tobacco Chewer


Now that you are no longer chewing tobacco, your mouth has begun to heal itself. However, our dentists still need to know if you used to chew tobacco because we can make sure we screen you for oral cancer at least twice a year. Oral cancer screenings are painless and do not take much time at all. If you are ready to come in and talk to one of our dentists about your dental health, give us a call today.

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