How Does Smoking and Chewing Tobacco Cause Oral Cancer?

Smoking and Chewing tobacco are two of the worst habits a person can pick up. Right from college, people are exposed to these evils and every time they use these products; they become weaker. Additionally, these habits lead to cancer- oral, lung and blood.

What Makes Smoking Or Chewing Tobacco Addictive?

Chain Smokers usually go from a single cigarette to a pack on the same day because it is highly addictive. Chewing tobacco is just as addictive and causes worse conditions for your oral health. The Nicotine in these products is the root cause of the addiction, and it lasts in the bloodstream for up to four days.

How Does Smoking Cause Oral Cancer?

Cigarettes can never become healthy. There is no benefit to having filtered or non-filtered cigarettes. There are over 70 chemicals in a single smoke that can cause oral cancer and permanent damage to your body. These chemicals are called carcinogens. Every time they enter your bloodstream, the substances are carried to all parts of your body.

Some of the chemicals in a cigarette include:

  • Nicotine
  • Hydrogen cyanide.
  • Formaldehyde.
  • Lead.
  • Arsenic.
  • Ammonia.
  • Benzene, and more.

The chemicals damage your DNA and can result in unnecessary allergies, inflammation, and diseases by damaging cells. Coincidently, these damaged cells can turn into cancer.

The smoke hits your gums every time you inhale, and this damages your jaws and can cause tooth decay. If you want to maintain oral hygiene, you need to quit smoking today.

How Does Chewing Tobacco Cause Oral Cancer?

Chewing tobacco contains at least 28 chemicals which can cause cancer. The most harmful substance in chewing tobacco is tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Once your gums absorb this chemical in large quantities, it starts to decay, and this causes oral cancer.

Some of the harmful substances in chewing tobacco include:

  • Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Mercury

In the beginning, cancer shows up as leukoplakia. This is a whitish patch that develops inside the mouth. Eventually, it turns into erythroplakia, where a red spot forms inside the mouth. Besides damage to the gum, it also causes tooth decay.

Using either of these products will lead to bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and degrading dental hygiene. Furthermore, it affects your heart health and can lead to a stroke or heart attack. There are two distinctive signs to spot oral cancer – Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Oral Submucous Fibrosis.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

The outermost lining of the tissue inside your mouth is a mucosa layer made up of Squamous cells. This includes the lips and cheeks as well. By chewing tobacco, these cells are directly in contact with the carcinogens, and they are directly absorbed into the mucosa. From here it starts as a small white or red bump on the gums or cheek. Most people ignore this bump and do not realize it is the most apparent sign of oral cancer.

Oral Submucous Fibrosis

Oral Submucous Fibrosis is where the jaw becomes stiff over time, and the person affected can no longer open their mouth fully. The fibrosis does not allow the jaw to stretch completely. In such cases, you must get it checked by a dentist or doctor as it is an evident sign of cancer.

Is Chewing Tobacco Less Harmful Than Smoking?

Today, smoking in public is illegal. Chewing tobacco companies are using this as a marketing strategy to claim their product is safer than cigarettes and can be used in smoke-free areas. But this is not true. Chewing tobacco contains Nicotine and can become addictive. Though it does not affect the lungs as severely as smoking, it has much more harmful effects on your gums and teeth, making it a cause for oral cancer which cannot be ignored.

Quit Today And Improve Your Health

There are no benefits or positives to smoking or chewing tobacco. Every time you use either of these products, you take a piece of your life away. Quitting tobacco products can reduce the risk of heart disease, help in rebuilding damaged tissue, and helps you regain your sense of smell. It also heals mouth sores, and eventually, your bad breath will disappear. Furthermore, by quitting, you will reduce the chances of oral cancer and save a ton of money. Get help if you need it, or try using nicotine patches or gum.

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