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The Oral Effects of Tobacco

The effects of tobacco use in your mouth and throat are often overlooked.

On a social level....

  • Teeth can become permanently stained a yellow-brown colour.

  • The tongue can become stained. "Black hairy tongue" is a non-cancerous condition that is as unattractive as its name.

  • Tobacco products cause bad breath

  • Eating pleasure is diminished. Tobacco use destroys taste buds and limits the sense of smell.

From a health perspective...

  • Tobacco users have more gum disease. The heat and chemicals produced when inhaling cause the mouth’s soft tissue to become red and inflamed. Juices in smokeless tobacco products irritate the gums.

  • Oral cancer (throat, voice box, lip, tongue) is the 13th most common form of cancer in Canada. Smokers have four times the risk of death from oral cancer as non-smokers. Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk of cancer of the gums and cheeks as much as 50 per cent. The longer the use, the higher the risk.

A few more good reasons not to start smoking!