Tobacco chewing leads to dental caries

by Medindia Content Team on  February 28, 2002 at 10:49 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Tobacco chewing leads to dental caries
Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that tobacco chewers are more prone to caries.The researchers studied dental caries and tobacco use data from more than 13,000 adults aged 19 and over.

The researchers illustrated between the two types of spit tobacco, also called smokeless tobacco, and other types of tobacco such as cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Spit tobacco comes in two forms, chew and snuff. Chewing tobacco is a bulky, leafy form of tobacco that is packaged as loose leaf, plugs, or twists, and snuff is a finely ground or shredded tobacco.

The study revealed that men who use chewing tobacco exclusively were four times more likely than those who had never used tobacco to have one or more decayed or filled root surface. On average, the men who used chewing tobacco exclusively had 4.45 decayed or filled root surfaces more than any other tobacco-use group and those who had never used tobacco.

The researchers cerebrate that the high sugar content in chewing tobacco is one reason the product is associated with an increased risk of dental caries on tooth roots and crowns. A typical user holds a wad of chew in his cheek for 30 minutes at a time and uses the product in this manner throughout the day, exposing the teeth to the tobacco for several hours. Moreover, both chew and snuff can contribute to gingival (gum) recession and therefore make tooth roots more liable to decay."This study shouldn't give chewers the idea they can switch to snuff," said study author Deborah Winn, Ph.D.,


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