Smokeless Tobacco
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our body has warning signs to tell us when we are close to dehydration. What are the signs and how should we respond to them? Dr. Ed Hill tells us in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Smokeless tobacco use in the United States continues to increase each year. Many people think smokeless tobacco is safe. The truth is that smokeless tobacco use causes many serious health problems.

Using smokeless tobacco can cause bleeding gums and sores of the mouth that never heal. Eventually you might end up with oral cancer.

Nicotine blood levels achieved by smokeless tobacco use are similar to those from cigarette smoking. Nicotine addiction can lead to an increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.

If you use smokeless tobacco, or have in the past, you should be on the lookout for some of these early signs of oral cancer:

∑        A sore that does not heal

∑        A lump or white patch

∑        A prolonged sore throat

∑        Difficulty in chewing

∑        Restricted movement of the tongue or jaws

∑        A feeling of something in the throat

Pain is rarely an early symptom. For this reason, all tobacco users need regular dental check-ups. It may be smokeless, but it isnít harmless.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.