What Chewing Tobacco Does to Your Teeth

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Chewing tobacco effects

Chewing tobacco effects

Chew, spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chaw, dip,  and plug. These all refer to the same thing- smokeless tobacco. And, just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

It may not come in a rolled up form, but it still has serious consequences for your oral health. There are a number of reasons behind it, and it’s gone in and out of favor over the past couple of decades.

Short Term Effects of Chewing Tobacco

While any type of tobacco is bad for your teeth, there are some unique short term effects of chewing tobacco. Some of these include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Excess saliva (problems with drooling)
  • Stained or yellow teeth
  • Your clothes can become stained
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Receding gums
  • Gum loss
  • Teeth become sensitive
  • Risk of tooth decay
  • Sores and white patches in your mouth

These are the effects that can occur after just a short period of usage. Most of these issues (aside from staining and gum issues) can be stopped if you stop using chew. However, many people have a hard time with this due to the addictive qualities of nicotine.

Long Term Effects of Chewing Tobacco

For those who can’t kick the habit, there are other serious side effects.

  • Cancer of the mouth, tongue, cheek, gums, esophagus, stomach, pancreas and throat.
  • Increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke
  • Bone loss surrounding the roots of teeth
  • Cavities
  • Loss of teeth

As with most harmful substances, the longer you use chew, the more sever the side effects will be.

Can You Reverse the Effects of Chewing Tobacco?

You won’t be able to completely reverse damage that has been done by using chewing tobacco. However, the shorter the amount of time that you use it, the better off you will be. Speaking with your dentist about your smokeless tobacco habits could lead to solutions for quitting.

If you’re a long term chew user, there are ways to restore your smile and the functionality of your teeth. Procedures such as dental implants can help with tooth loss. It’s best to speak with your dentist about what options are the best for you, and find out the best way to quit.

To schedule an appointment and strive toward better oral health, contact Friendly Dentistry today!

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