Chewing tobacco affects your dental health as well as the rest of your body. Chewing tobacco includes snuff, a finely ground version of processed tobacco, and chewing tobacco in the form of shredded or pressed bricks and cakes, called plugs, or rope-like strands called twists. Users “pinch” or “dip” tobacco and place a wad in their cheek or between their lower lip and gums.
About 8,000 people die every year from tobacco use. About 70 percent of those deaths are from oral cancer. Kids who use spit tobacco products are 4 to 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer.
Your dentist can help you kick your chewing tobacco habit. In addition to cleaning teeth and treating bad breath and puffy, swollen gums associated with tobacco use, Dr. Geare may prescribe a variety of nicotine replacement therapies.