Oral cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the oral cavity and leads to the development of tumors. Consumption of tobacco is one of the main causes of oral cancer. Tobacco is used in many ways such as smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or its products. All the tobacco products have the same risk of oral cancer. People who use smokeless tobacco are at high risk as well. We’ll discuss here the effects of smokeless tobacco on oral cancer
When tobacco is chewed or used directly without burning is called smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is available in various forms.
Chewing tobacco is obtained from the loose leaves or twists of tobacco. It is cut into small pieces and are placed in between the cheeks and gums. Then, the nicotine in the tobacco gets absorbed into the tissues of oral cavity.
Snuff is the fine powered tobacco available in packets. Its available in either dry form or moist form. Dry powder is taken by inhaling through nose. Moist form is taken through mouth and is spit free.
Dissolved tobacco are designed as lozenges. Theses are available as sweet candies. These are dis solvable in mouth.
Most people become addicted to smokeless tobacco due to economic problems, stress and local life style.
Harmful chemicals in smokeless tobacco
Smokeless tobacco contains 28 harmful chemicals. Nicotine in the tobacco gets absorbed into the oral tissue and irritates the tissue. Nitrosamines, these are formed during growing, forming and aging of tobacco.
How smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer
Smokeless tobacco is carcinogenic. It contains chemicals that can make changes in the DNA in cells present in oral cavity, which leads to the development of oral cancer. Chewing smokeless tobacco or using snuff containing nicotine gets absorbed into the tissue in oral cavity and irritates the tissue. The another cancer causative chemical in smokeless tobacco is nitrosamines. Theses are formed during growing, forming and aging of tobacco.
Chewing tobacco causes irritation of mucous layer on oral cavity, staining on teeth, ulcers on mouth and tongue. It not only causes oral cancer but also oesophagus, pancreatic cancer.
The risk of oral cancer is more in people chewing tobacco or using snuff than those who do not use tobacco products. The risk of oral cancer depends on the frequency of smokeless tobacco usage. Quitting of usage, gradually decreases the risk of oral cancer.
Note that all tobacco products carry the risk of oral cancer. Avoid using tobacco products to reduce the risk of oral cancer and also dental problems.