The use of smokeless tobacco is detrimental to oral health and is among the top factors causing oral cancer. The following information outlines negative effects that smokeless tobacco use has on overall oral health.
How does the use of smokeless tobacco cause oral cancer?
Smokeless tobacco products contain at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. Individuals whose mouths are exposed to those chemicals are at a greater risk of getting oral cancer. Use of smokeless tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer by approximately 50 times.
What are the oral health risks of using smokeless tobacco?
In addition to the risk of oral cancer, the use of smokeless tobacco causes:
- Gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots and making teeth more sensitive and prone to decay.
- Permanent tooth stains.
- Bad breath.
- Sores and painful patches on the lips and mouth.
- Tooth decay, as a result of the sugar added to chewing tobacco.
What are the overall health risks of using smokeless tobacco?
Individuals who use smokeless tobacco are subject to overall health risks including:
- Sick stomach feelings from swallowing tobacco juice.
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate, which increases the risk of heart attacks.
- Moodiness, headaches and trouble sleeping and concentrating when trying to quit.
Will the use of smokeless tobacco interfere with my athletic performance?
Yes. Although many professional athletes, namely baseball players, use smokeless tobacco before and during games, the nicotine in tobacco may negatively affect your athletic performance. Nicotine can cause dizziness and may affect reaction time—effects that hinder athletic abilities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Smokeless Tobacco
No Smoke, But Plenty of Danger