The best way to stay healthy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and not to succumb to the habits of tobacco use.
Tobacco has been used for its euphoric effects or presumed stress-relieving effects, it always comes at a price. Smoking or the use of tobacco in any form can cause a number of side effects on the body.
The Oral cavity shows a variety of changes, as it is the primary recipient of tobacco or its products. These changes may be simple, reversible changes in the beginning, but they can progress into lethal Oral cancer.
Effects of Tobacco Use :
The use of Tobacco or its products may cause:
1. Discoloration of teeth
2. Noncancerous changes in the oral cavity
3. Oral precancerous changes
4. The oral cancer cleaning action of the saliva
Due to smoking or Tobacco use, there can be an excessive deposition of stains on the tooth surfaces, making the tooth look brown or yellow. This may result in the unsightly appearance of teeth.
An association of smoking or tobacco use with increased loosening of teeth has also been observed and this may ultimately result in tooth loss. Due to habitual smoking, the oral cavity can become dry and result in the loss of cleansing action of the saliva, leading to an increased incidence of dental decay.
Some people are habituated to stuffing tobacco in the cheek pouches, which may result in the recession of the gums, along with smokeless tobacco keratosis or a white mucosal lesion in the area of tobacco contact.
Apart from smoke, heat from cigarettes or Bidis may stimulate the pigment-producing cells of the oral cavity, resulting in increased coloration of the inner cheek.
This coloration or pigmentation may be grey or dark brown and this condition is called Smoker’s melanosis. A similar coloration of the palate has been termed as Smokers’ palate. These conditions are relatively harmless and may even totally disappear after the discoloration of this habit. Also, the gums may show an increased infection which may result in gingival recession.
Precancerous conditions are the conditions that are seen before the onset of a full-fledged Oral Cancer. These conditions include Leukoplakia, also known as white patches, and erythroplakia, also called red patches. Commonly, white patches are seen on the inner cheek region and the palate, while the red ones occur on the floor of the mouth.
The presence of white patches may cause roughness in the inner cheek region and can be felt with the tongue by the patient. On the other hand, the red patches may not cause any symptoms. Amongst the two types of patches, the red one is considered to be more dangerous, as about 15 – 50 % of them may turn into Oral Cancer.
Oral cancer may have a variety of presentations. It may be present as a non-healing oral ulcer for more than two weeks: Painless ulcer, growth, or swelling, difficulty in opening the mouth/swallowing, or swelling of the lymph nodes. This condition is commonly seen in elderly individuals, around the age of 50 – 60 years.
Women tend to be less affected by these conditions, as they are exposed to tobacco to a lesser extent than men, but women, especially in the rural area, have the habit of stuffing betel leaves along with Tobacco, which may make them vulnerable to developing Oral Cancer.
Another cause of Oral Cancer is the concomitant use of Alcohol and Tobacco which acts as a synergist, increasing the risk of developing cancer.
Now, one may ask how to prevent the development of these conditions. The best answer to this is to refrain from using tobacco in any form. Once there is a presence of oral precancerous conditions, the dental specialist will advise you to refrain from tobacco use and may further prescribe certain medications, which may halt the progression of these conditions to Oral cancer.
Certain laboratory tests and other investigations may also become necessary to rule out the presence of cancer. Oral Cancer is detected for the further management of this condition
The best way to stay Healthy is to adapt to a healthy lifestyle and not succumb to the habits of tobacco use. Numerous healthy stress-busting techniques like yoga, aerobics, meditation, etc. can be inculcated in your daily routine, along with a balanced diet to help you lead a healthy life. For more details contact Acme Dental Lounge, Aundh, Call Us at – 9923459984