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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
      Call: 308-436-3491           

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Faces Of Chew Users

Every minute 181 pounds of chewing tobacco 
are stuffed in American men's cheeks

    Smokeless tobacco is not safer to use than smoking cigarettes. Here are some facts about smokeless tobacco:


 It is more addictive because it contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes and it cause many oral health problems.

bulletConsumption of moist snuff and other spit tobacco products in the U.S. tripled from 1972 through 1991.
bulletNearly 1 in 5 male students  or 10% of teen age boys are using smokeless tobacco.
bulletThe nicotine content in one "dip" of snuff can be 4 times that of 1 cigarette. Holding an average-size dip in your mouth for 30 minutes will get you as much nicotine as from smiling 2-3 cigarettes.
bullet28 carcinogens have been identified in chewing tobacco and snuff.
bulletThe risk of developing oral cancer for spit tobacco users ranges from 2 to 6 times that of nonusers. The risk of oral cancer is higher in smokeless tobacco users over cigarette smoking.
bulletSpit tobacco can cause gum recession, mouth sores, and oral cancer.  
bulletGum recession, when gums pull away from the teeth, makes you more vulnerable to decay and tooth sensitivity.  This condition is  usually permanent and difficult to repair.
bulletIt causes constant irritation to the spot in the mouth where the wad of chew is placed and results in permanent damage to gum tissue.  The injured gums pull away from the teeth, exposing root surfaces and leaving teeth sensitive to heat and cold. 

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bulletThe ingredients in chew cause erosion of critical bone support leading to loosened teeth that can be permanently lost.
bulletSugar is added to smokeless tobacco during the curing and processing to improve its taste. The sugar reacts with bacteria found naturally in the mouth, causing an acid reaction, which leads to decay.
bulletStained teeth and bad breath along with the offensive habit of continually spitting. 
bulletAthletic performance and endurance levels are decreased due to constriction of blood vessels caused by nicotine.
bulletChewing tobacco decrease a person's sense of taste and ability to smell. As a result, users tend to eat more salty and sweet foods which can lead to more cavities.
bulletHeart problems due to increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
bulletChew users are more likely than nonusers to get oral cancer which leads to difficulty chewing, swallowing, talking and even breathing.  On average half of oral cancer victims are dead within 5 years of  diagnosis.
bulletIt runs your health and your image: stained teeth, tobacco stuck between your teeth, bad breath, constant spitting or drooling.
bulletWith the practice of "chewing" and "dipping," tobacco and its irritating juices are left in contact with gums, cheeks and/or lips for prolonged periods of time. This can cause leukoplakia. Leukoplakia appears either as a smooth, white patch or as leathery-looking wrinkled skin. It results in cancer in 3 percent to 5 percent of all cases.

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Someone dies from oral cancer every hour in the U.S.

Possible cancerous lesion from chew

Symptoms of Oral Cancer:

  1. Sore on lip or in the mouth that does not heal
  2. Lump in the mouth or throat
  3. White or red patches on the gums, tongue, lips or lining of the mouth
  4. Unusual bleeding from the mouth or throat
  5. Difficulty swallowing
  6. Persistent hoarseness.

Tips to Quit:

1) Think of the reasons why you want to quit.  You may want to quit (try listing your own reasons) because:

bulletYou don't want to risk getting cancer.
bulletThe people around you find it offensive.
bulletYou don't like having bad breath after chewing and dipping.
bulletYou don't want stained teeth or no teeth.
bulletYou don't like being addicted to nicotine.
bulletYou want to start leading a healthier life.

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2) Pick a quit date and throw out all your chewing tobacco and snuff.

3) Tell yourself out loud every day that you're going to quit.

4) Ask your friends, family, teachers, and coaches to help you kick the habit by giving you support and encouragement.

5) Tell friends not to offer you spit tobacco. You may want to ask a friend to quit with you.

6) Ask your doctor or dentist about a nicotine chewing gum tobacco cessation program.

7) Find alternatives to spit tobacco. A few examples are sugarless gum, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, apple slices, raisins, or dried fruit.

8) Find activities to keep your mind off of spit tobacco. You could ride a bike, talk or write a letter to a friend, work on a hobby, or listen to music. Exercise can help relieve tension caused by quitting.

9) Remember that everyone is different, so develop a personalized plan that works best for you.

9) Set realistic goals and achieve them.

10) Reward yourself. You could save the money that would have been spent on spit tobacco products and buy something nice for yourself.

11) Nicorette gum and nicotine inhalers and the patch-type delivery systems are all products to help you to quit smoking.

12)  Try the natural sugar free mint leave substitute.

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13) Pick a Quit Date and taper down until you reach it.  Change your daily routine and stay busy on your Quit Day.  Make an appointment to get your teeth cleaned!

14) Cut back or switch from the highest nicotine brands.

15) Dealing with craving and urges by: waiting them out; do deep breathing, call a friend or exercise.

16) Quitting takes practice.  Chances of success increase with each try.  If you slip, pick up right where you left off

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Spitting into the Wind: The Facts About Dip and Chew

A lot of athletes get hooked before they know the facts about dip and chew.

They don't know that spit tobacco:

bulletis highly addictive
bullet contains nicotine
bullet doesn't help performance
bulletis not a safe alternative to cigarettes

Photo: Nailed smokeless tobacco 

Addiction is one tough opponent. It doesn't take long to get hooked. In fact, you get more nicotine from spit tobacco than from cigarettes. To get unhooked, you have to know what you're up against and you need a game plan. Once you're hooked, it's hard to keep lid on this addiction.

There are no benefits of using spit tobacco. In a Major League Baseball poll, not one player who used dip or chew said that the tobacco improved his game or sharpened his reflexes.

Scientists agree. Spit tobacco does not improve athletic performance.


What's really in it for you? These are just some of the ingredients in dip and chew. Spit tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes. The toxic chemicals can damage your gums. They also can cause cancer.


Warning Image: Skull with Bones; Text: Poision

bullet Nicotine (addictive drug)
bullet Polonium 210 (nuclear waste)
bullet Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
bullet Cancer-Causing Chemicals
bullet Radioactive Elements

The Truth about Dip and Chew

Even if you don't know the harm dip and chew can do, your body does.

Photo: Illed gums; Text: Your gums pull away from your teeth where the tobacco is held. Once this happens, the gums do not grow back.

Photo: Toxic chemicals in mouth; Text: The toxic chemicals in dip and chew can cause white, wrinkled skin patches inside your mouth.

Photo: Inside mouth; Text: These changes can turn into cancer.

Cancer is like a bomb! You don't know when it will go off.

Up to a certain point, if you quit, your body can heal itself... but the longer you use spit tobacco, the bigger your risk of getting cancer. You don't have to dip for 30 years to get cancer! Quit while you're still ahead of the game.

Photo: Mouth Cancer

Don't let it be too late. Chewing tobacco and snuff can cause mouth and throat cancer. There are some athletes who have developed mouth cancer after only 6 or 7 years of using spit tobacco. It's hard to cure because it spreads fast.

If not caught right away, major surgery is often needed to take out parts of your mouth, jaw, and tongue.

Photo: Mouth Cancer

Check you mouth often. Look closely at places where you hold the tobacco.

See your doctor or dentist right away if you have:

bulleta sore that bleeds easily and doesn't heal
bulleta lump or thickening anywhere in your mouth or neck
bullet soreness or swelling that doesn't go away
bullet trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue or jaw

Stay in the Game

Your doctor, dentist, trainer, or coach can help you quit. The best way to quit is to have a plan. The game plan in Spit Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting can make quitting easier.

Inside this guide you'll find out how to:

bullet Pick a quit date
bullet Cut back before quitting
bullet Get through the tough times
bullet Build a support team
bullet Stay tobacco free!

For additional copies of this booklet contact:

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse
Bethesda, MD 20892-3500

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
Printed January 2000

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Sugar Free Tobacco-Redman Silver Blend will help fight decay.

Oral cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the U.S., 9 cases were found in our area just last year. If you catch it early the odds of 5-year survival are 76% . Solution: See us every six months for your examination . We do a no-charge oral cancer check at every exam.

Have worry-spots checked with a painless, non-invasive "brush-biopsy" we can do in our office.

Reduce your risk factors: The use of tobacco products is responsible for 80 to 90% of all oral cancers. A pack of cigarettes a day increases your oral cancer risk 4.5 times; six alcoholic drinks a day, 3.3 times; 7 to 9 drinks a day, 15 times. Heavy alcohol use combined with heavy tobacco use can increase the risk up to 100-fold

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Call 1-800-4-CANCER

Contact :National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse

September 14, 2007

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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