Scott is happily married and a father of two but can’t seem to quit the chewing tobacco habit. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman outlines the many risks of chewing tobacco.
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Risks of Chewing Tobacco Dr. Travis Stork: What makes you go ewww? Well, that’s right today. We’re talking about the “it” factor, and while you can imagine that doctors, we do see some fairly disgusting things but what happens when those bad health habits actually affects your health? Scott: I started chewing when I was 15 or 16 because it was the thing to do, and it went from just a fun adventure to a full time addiction. I take a small pinch, put it in between my lips and my teeth, switch to the side and nobody knows it’s in my mouth. To try to quit chewing tobacco, I have used the patch, I have used nicotine gums. I have tried hypnotherapy. Jamie: I smell it like if he throws at the trash can, sometimes he’ll drop a little so it’ll be in the house somewhere or if he throws it in the kitchen sink, it’ll come up after the dishwasher. He doesn’t spit, he just swallows it so it goes down to his throat, in his stomach, every part of the body almost, and that concerns me because he’s got two kids. Scott: Yeah, I've had a couple occasions where my kids have opened up a tin and eaten it. Jamie: I was like, “Oh my god!” It’s gross and to me that’s poison. Scott: If I keep chewing I'm going to most likely end up with mouth cancer or some bone disease in my mouth, possibly lose parts of my mouth, and possibly die. Jamie: It worries me because he’s the father. He needs to be around, and then the other issue, too is that my son thinks it’s okay. Scott: It’s also the oral fixation and having something in my mouth, and if I could find a good substance replacement to put something in my mouth, I think the nicotine might not be so horrible to win myself off of it. Dr. Travis Stork: Scott is here with his wife Jamie as well as our good friend and dentist, Bill Dorfman. This is a legitimate issue for so many people. But Scott and Jamie are here because not only does this make people go eww, it can cause a legitimate long term health problems beyond the eww factor. Dr. Drew Ordon: Right, but Scott, you actually don’t spit the stuff out, do you? Scott: No. Dr. Drew Ordon: You actually swallow it? Scott: Yeah. Dr. Jim Sears: Oh, man! Really? Dr. Drew Ordon: Do you know the statistics on the stuff that you're swallowing? Three to four times more nicotine than cigarettes and it contains 28 different carcinogens. So, what does that mean in terms of the risk, Bill? Bill Dorfman: Well Scott, not only are you at higher risk for lip cancer, tongue cancer, cancer in the roof of your mouth, the floor of your mouth, your cheeks, your gums but because you're swallowing this, your whole GI tract is at risk of cancer. Starting from your throat, your esophagus into your stomach all the way down to your colon, and if that weren’t bad enough, because you're using tobacco, you have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and of course, periodontal or gum disease because it’s sitting in your mouth. It’s just bad all the way around. Dr. Travis Stork: Those are all the risks but we have to acknowledge that nicotine is very addictive. Dr. Lisa Masterson: It’s an addiction.