If you have a chewing tobacco habit that you're ready to give up, congratulations! You're taking a key step toward improving your oral health. As your dentist has likely told you during your routine checkups, your mouth may already be showing the signs of chewing tobacco use. While many people are concerned about the link between this product and various oral cancers, chewing tobacco can also stain your teeth and lead to gum recession — all issues that your dentist will warn you about. There's no doubt that quitting this addictive product can be a challenge, but your oral health is definitely worth fighting for. Here are some alternative products that you can use to curb this habit.
Many people associate nicotine gum with curbing a smoking habit, but your dentist will likely recommend it for being better for your teeth (and your overall health) if you're trying to quit using chewing tobacco. Nicotine gum is available in different flavors and is doubly effective for dealing with a chewing tobacco habit. The small amount of nicotine will provide your body with the nicotine that it craves due to addiction, and you can slowly decrease the amount of gum that you chew to wean yourself off the nicotine. Additionally, the act of having something in your mouth satisfies the habitual feeling of chewing tobacco, which can be addictive in its own right, in a sense.
Coffee Or Tea Pouches
Several companies make small pouches of coffee grinds and tea leaves that you can place between your lip and gum to mimic the feeling of chewing tobacco. These products can be effective for helping satisfy that feeling you've developed of having a pinch or a pouch of tobacco in your mouth. The benefit to these products is that they don't contain harmful ingredients, so you're essentially taking in a cup of coffee or tea. Additionally, these products don't make you salivate like chewing tobacco does, so you won't need to worry about spitting. While it's true that such products can eventually stain your teeth, your dentist likely provides whitening services that you can arrange during your next checkup.
Many former tobacco chewers will turn to chewing sunflower seeds to give them something to occupy their mouth. Upon quitting chewing tobacco, it can feel strange to have an empty mouth, and you may begin to crave holding something in it. By popping a small handful of sunflower seeds in your cheek and working to crack the shells and spit them out, all while enjoying the seeds themselves, you may find that you're no longer craving the sensation of chewing tobacco in your mouth. By using any of these products, you'll be able to give your dentist good news during your next checkup.
For more information on how to protect your teeth after quitting chewing tobacco, contact dentists in your area.