Category Archives: Oral Cancer

Smokeless tobacco and oral health

Is it normal for smokeless tobacco use (specifically dipping tobacco) to cause temporary “wrinkles” on the gums where the tobacco sits? Or would that be a sign of something bad like pre-cancer or cancer? Serious answers only, and please no campaigning. Just answer my question.

Thanks, Kenneth

Dear Kenneth,

It is very common for dipping tobacco to cause a white chalky wrinkly appearance on the oral tissues in the mouth. Smokeless tobacco irritates the gum tissue leading to periodontal disease and tooth decay besides cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, and pancreas as well as colon, bladder, and esophagus. We will not lecture you on your habit, however will advise you to visit your dentist to have your oral tissue evaluated. The only way to diagnosis oral cancer is usually through a biopsy. There are many toxins in smokeless tobacco just like cigarettes that can cause cancer. Some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer are irritation of the tissue where it may become tender with a burning sensation, pain or numbness, wrinkled or bumpy patch that changes color like gray, white spots, or red as well as difficulty chewing or swallowing. Our advice to you is that if you continue this habit to not keep your chewing tobacco in the same place all the time to allow your tissue to heal where it is irritated.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care