SAVE YOUR SMILE—QUIT TOBACCO
A beautiful healthy smile is an enviable asset one can possess but, despite longing for pearly white teeth, we willingly fall prey to some habits which not only trap us in their dangerous clutches but also deprive us of our health and happiness and sometimes even our life.
Commonly, tobacco is consumed in two forms-smoking and smokeless. There is a strong scientific evidence that tobacco causes cancer and the commonest association of ‘spit’, ‘chew’ or ‘snuff’ forms of smokeless tobacco is with oral cancer. This is due to the presence of some potent carcinogens in tobacco like nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and radiation-emitting polonium. The nitrosamines can be metabolized by target tissues to compounds that can modify cellular genetic material. It must be remembered that India is home to the maximum number of oral cancer cases in the world.
Apart from oral cancer, the various ingredients in the various existing forms of chewable tobacco can cause a host of other diseases. They act as abrasives which erode the tooth enamel leading to hypersensitivity; a wad of tobacco kept in the mouth over long periods damages the periodontal tissues which, over a period of time, can damage the supporting bones; constant irritation may lead to injury of gums and subsequent recession leading to hypersensitivity to hot and cold. Compromised periodontal health in due course of time leads to loosening of the teeth and eventually their permanent loss.