Tobacco Effects On Oral Health

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Everyone knows that smoking and chewing tobacco is bad for your health, but does everyone know exactly why they are bad. There is a great deal of things that tobacco does to the body and it all starts in the mouth. As many people know, smoking causes bad breath and tooth staining, but there are other effects that smoking and smokeless tobacco has on oral health. Dry mouth, periodontal disease, and oral cancer are some of the things that tobacco can cause in the oral cavity. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is the result of having decreased amounts of saliva being produced by the salivary glands. It may not seem like a very pressing issue to have, but there are several roles that saliva has in the oral cavity. Not only does it keep the…show more content…
Products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipes all contain toxins, nicotine, and carcinogens. Carcinogens are cancer causing agents. Cigarettes are the most common tobacco product used today and contain 60 cancer causing agents. Cigars are looked at as the least harmful tobacco product, but even though cigars are not inhaled, it puts the smoker at risk for cancer in the oral cavity and on the lips. Surprisingly, cigars contain more tobacco than cigarettes. Chewing tobacco is also very harmful because it is put between the teeth and the gum, causing it to be in direct contact with the tissue. Therefore, the toxic chemicals such as nicotine and the carcinogens are ingested into the body. Smokeless tobacco products contain 28 or more cancer causing agents. Cancer in the lips, gums, and cheek are most common with this form of tobacco use. Leukoplakia is the beginning stages of oral cancer. It is described as a thick, white rough patch somewhere in the oral cavity. Depending on what stage the cancer has developed to, there are ways of treating it. Some examples would be surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Removing the tumor, skin grafts, dental implants, removing teeth, part of the jaw, and lymph nodes are all techniques used of removing the cancerous area surgically. In the early stages, radiation therapy could be used to treat small tumors. Chemotherapy is used when shrinking the tumor before surgery or radiation treatment. However, the most effective way to prevent oral cancer would be to stay away from tobacco
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