TOBACCO is the leaf of a plant found commonly in Asia and Brazil. It is usually used in its dry form. Regular use of tobacco not only affects your dental health but also the rest of your body. Tobacco in different forms is used by people all over the world.

Tobacco is mainly used in the following ways:
  • As a snuff ,which is a finely ground version of processed tobacco. It is usually sniffed into the nose and is the most common cause of cancer of the nose and the upper respirtory system.
  • Chewing of tobacco is the main cause of oral cancer in India . Tobacco in the form of shredded or pressed bricks and cakes, called plugs, or rope-like strands called twists are used for chewing. Users ''pinch'' or ''dip' 'tobacco and place a wad in their cheek or between their lower lip and gums. In India it comes with lime [KATHA] which is caustic and burns the delicate oral tissues.
  • Tobacco with betel nut and lime [commonly called as PAAN] is regularly used by people in all parts of India and is more harmful than plain tobacco. It is commonly believed that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking, which is false, as it has been proved that chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine, thus making it more addictive than smoking cigarettes. Tobacco smoking: Tobacco is rolled in paper or a leaf and then smoked, that is it could be cigarettes or bidis.Smoking not only causes oral cancer but can also cause lung cancer with throat cancer as a bonus along its path.In certain tribal areas of India people do reverse smoking ie.the lighted end is put into the mouth. In these cases the heat comes as a bonus along with the tobacco.


EFFECT OF TOBACCO USE ON ORAL HEALTH: Use of tobacco results in bad breath, discoloured teeth, decreased smell and taste and increased risk of developing cavities. The grit in snuff eats away at the gums, exposing tooth roots, which are sensitive to hot and cold temperature and can be very painful. Sugar in chewing tobacco also causes decay. Long term use of tobacco results in oral cancer. If you fall into the category of long term users, keep a watch for any white patches on your cheeks or any other part of your mouth, an ulcer which does not heal for a long time, or if your mouth opening has reduced. Consult your dentist in case you notice any of the above signs.
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