Dip, or smokeless tobacco, is also known as chewing tobacco, chew, snuff and pinch. The product is sometimes seen by consumers as an alternative to smoking or a way to stop smoking cigarettes. Dip is no safer than tobacco and can cause mouth diseases such as gum disease, precancerous mouth lesions and mouth cancer. Users can often notice several signs and symptoms of mouth diseases.
Cavities can be caused from dip or chew, as it contains high amounts of sugar. Coarse particles that make up the dip scratch away at the enamel on your teeth. Both sugar and enamel damage contribute. Untreated cavities and teeth deterioration can lead to bacteria and other mouth diseases.
You would know if you are getting cavities by seeing blackening or damage on your teeth. Pain, sore gums and swelling can also be symptoms of cavities.
Gum disease or gingivitis can develop from chewing tobacco, which can lead to periodontitis. According to experts at MayoClinic.com, periodontitis is an inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. This mouth disease can lead to tooth loss, tooth shifting and infection of the jaw bone.
Signs of this mouth disease, as well as gingivitis, include bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth and tenderness of the gums.
Precancerous mouth lesions are also known as leukoplakia, and develop in spots where dip is most often placed. The lesions can also spread to the tongue and the inside of the cheek. Signs of precancerous lesions caused by dip include white or grayish spots that are slightly raised on the inside of the mouth. Fuzzy, white patches on the tongue is also a sign of this mouth disease caused by dip usage. Precancerous lesions can turn into cancer if tobacco dip usage is continued.
Mouth cancer develops on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth. Oral or mouth cancer is a disease often caused by dip usage, and symptoms include thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth, loose teeth, jaw pain or stiffness, difficulty eating or swallowing and a sore throat.
Quit using tobacco and tobacco products such as dip immediately to prevent mouth diseases. Avoiding alcohol helps prevent other cancers and makes mouth cancer treatments easier to tolerate. Increase your diet in vitamins and antioxidants, which can aid in prevention of mouth cancers and diseases.
A visit to the dentist is recommended for regular exams and monitoring of your teeth. Regular dental hygiene is recommended to keep your mouth, gums and teeth free of any bacteria. A dentist or Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (Otolaryngologist) can be consulted for a full exam of your mouth to check for any diseases.