Smokeless Tobacco May do More Damage Than You Think
Posted on 3/25/2020 by Karl Olson
We all know the dangers of smoking tobacco. The smoke from tobacco has been linked to various kinds of cancers ranging from oral cancers all the way to the lung. Smoking tobacco has also been shown to cause an increased risk of developing leukoplakia, which is white patches on the oral mucosa.
The newest kid on the block, however, is smokeless tobacco. Cool among the teens as well as adults alike. Smokeless tobacco can be chewed, sucked or even eaten. It promises the same feeling of euphoria with much less of the toxicities associated with the smoky type of tobacco. Additionally, smokeless tobacco has been found to worsen gum and periodontal diseases to a point of no return.
The Danger of Smokeless Tobacco
A recent study, however, shows that smokeless tobacco delivers double the amount of nicotine produced by smoking tobacco, with peak blood levels achieved much slower and retained for much longer. The premise of the study was to show that as an alternative to nicotine, smokeless products are just as toxic as they are smokeless.
Since smokeless tobacco is delivered through the oral route, there is a higher incidence of gum disease in people who use chewing tobacco. This is because tobacco is acidic, and in order to be absorbed, it must breech the alkaline base of saliva, which is also protective in nature. When this barrier is broken, the gum and teeth become susceptible to all kinds of infection cumulating in gum disease.
Another danger is the risk of oral cancer. The carcinogenic agent in smokeless tobacco is still nicotine, which is not done away with. As such, the risk of developing malignancies is not only retained, it is doubled. Finally, nicotine reduces blood supply by causing vasoconstriction of vessels. This ultimately causes the gums to become more susceptible to infections and other oral conditions, additionally, healing from simple dental procedures may take longer than expected.
As has been shown above, smokeless tobacco is not as riskless as many believe it to be. The next time, you snuff the tobacco or chew it, remember that there is more to it than meets the eye. Talk to our dentists to ask for advice on these cancer-causing products.
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