Smoking is a terrible health hazard even in the mouth. Besides causing oral cancer, it is very difficult for a smoker to control gum disease. Smoker’s stomatitis is a chronic irritation of the soft tissues and especially of the palate and especially of upper denture wearers. Brushing this area does help somewhat.
Snuff creates a special set of problems. First, the tissues where the snuff is held—the snuff pocket—are usually leukoplakic-a precancerous condition-and highly distorted. The gum tissue around the area can show advanced recession stripping the bone from the teeth. Snuff usually contains sugar and pumice. The sugar causes cavities and the pumice wears away the teeth like rubbing them with sandpaper.
It’s easy to say stop using these products but most of the time we find patients so “hooked” on their habit that more help is needed. A stop smoking program is most effective but substituting another substance such as Xylitol gum has been effective for some. Tell us you want to change and we can offer additional help.