Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

Risks of Chewing Tobacco on Oral Health

Friday, November 15th, 2013

452622_30653429Much has been made about the harmful effects of cigarettes on oral health as well as overall health. But what about the stuff you don’t inhale, such as snuff and chew? In fact, these forms of smokeless tobacco are on the rise among Americans. In a study conducted between 2002 and 2008, there was a 47 percent increase in the number of new smokeless tobacco users.

Snuff is a finely ground or shredded tobacco that users “dip” between the gum and cheek. Chewing tobacco comes in a loose leaf, twist or plug form, which the user places inside the cheek. In the U.S., smokeless tobacco has long been associated with baseball. Players keep a wad in their bottom lips to keep their mouth moist, then spit the liquid out onto the field. Many people know the product simply as chew, spit, dip, plug and chaw. But whatever the name, the health risks remain.

Is smokeless tobacco better for you than cigarettes?
No. All tobacco, including snuff and chew, contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Though nicotine is absorbed more slowly from smokeless tobacco than a cigarette, the amount that enters that bloodstream is three to four times greater than its smoking counterpart, while more nicotine per dose is absorbed stays in the blood longer. According to the National Cancer Institute, at least 28 chemicals in snuff and chew have been found to cause cancer.

Gum disease
One of the most common triggers from smokeless tobacco is gum disease, also known as gingivitis (in the early stage) and periodontal disease (in the advanced stage). When you put a pinch of chew on the inside of your lip, the chemicals in the tobacco irritate and erode the gum line, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth. Many regular chew users experience receding gums and permanent discoloration of their teeth. If you’ve ever seen a picture of someone who has a history of dipping, their bottom and top rows of teeth are a brownish-yellow. As the level of the gums sink, plaque and tartar find the bigger pockets to stick to and destroy the teeth. Extreme forms of gum disease lead to tooth loss.

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Cancer Patients Need to Maintain Dental Health Prior to Therapy

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

cancer


After the recent deaths of many celebrities including Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, people are realizing that maintaining their health is more important than ever. People who have just learned that they have cancer may not be thinking about taking care of their oral hygiene, but this can have significant consequences. Cancer patients who do not discuss their sitaution with a dentist before starting chemotherapy or radiation may put the health of their teeth in jeopardy or delay their treatment.

 Dr. Mitchell Josephs, a dentist at Palm Beach Towers, tells people about to start chemotherapy that they should get a dental cleaning and X-ray to make sure that there are no abscesses. If there is an emergency extraction to remove an infected tooth, this could disrupt cancer treatment. Obviously, if you have to have emergency dental work done after you started cancer treatment, your healing ability is going to be reduced.

 Therapies can also weaken teeth and cause tooth decay. Chemotherapy and radiation can reduce the mouth’s ability to produce saliva temporarily. Saliva is what protects and coats the teeth so they are not damaged by acidic foods. If a person uses a custom fluoride tray to coat the teeth in a concentrated fluoride solution daily(ten minutes a day) while going through chemotherapy, their teeth are much less likely to be discolored and weakened.

 Decay is usually caused by a very dry mouth. Inflammation of the gums can also be caused by cancer treatment. Dentures that do not fit correctly can make the situation worse by possibly causing ulcerations. This problem can be fixed by getting new dentures or dental implants for replacing the teeth permanently.

 Mouth rinses can help reduce mucositis, which is the ulceration and inflammation of the mouth’s tissue. According to Dr. Daniel Spitz, when a patient goes through chemotherapy, any underlying dental problems will increase the likelihood of there being cavities, bone loss, and tooth loss. If the blood count gets low, bacterial infections can grow out of control.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News

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