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Tobacco Products Can Cause More Than Just Oral Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco smokers can develop cancers anywhere in the mouth or throat, as well as in the voice box, esophagus, lungs, kidneys, bladder, and other organs. Plus, both smoking and smokeless tobacco can cause periodontal (gum) diseases that destroy the supporting bone around teeth, which may ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Over time, smokeless tobacco use can also lead to oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year—and, of those newly diagnosed patients, only half of them will be alive in five years. The shocking fact is that most oral cancer is preventable.


Reduce your risk of developing oral cancer:

  • Do not use tobacco products (including smokeless).
  • Only consume alcohol in moderation.
  • Use lip balm with sunscreen.

As with any cancer, early detection is key in halting the development of oral cancer. At each dental exam, a dentist will observe the face, lips, neck, throat, and entire mouth area for signs of oral cancer such as:

  • Red or white spot on oral tissue.
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving the tongue and jaw.
  • Alteration in the way teeth fit together.
  • A tender sore that will not heal.
  • Pain or numbness on the mouth or lips.
  • Wrinkled or bumpy patch inside mouth.

Quit using tobacco today. Ask your dentist how he or she can help.

Please visit our website at and choose our Interactive Oral Health & Wellness Toolkit. Here, you will find a Delta Dental Risk Assessment Tool that examines common risk indicators and provides you with custom feedback and important information on maintaining good oral health.  Visit here for additional information and Facts About Tobacco and Oral Health.

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