Quit Smoking”, “don’t make an ash of yourself”, “Don’t be wacko stop tobacco”, “Drugs pull you down six feet underground” Blah Blah Blah…… lots of slogans, posters, advertisements, flyers, even theatres, and movies tends to endorse against tobacco usage, but nobody seems to care.
Somewhere alongside the banks of a river or in a mushy street, the leaves are kept in the basket alongside burning coal most of the times covered with a dry or wet cloth to retain its moisture “Bete se zyada sambhal kar rakhte hai ise” says a paanwala where people spitting blood-red betel juice into an elegantly designed brass spittoon. With increasing globalization, there seems to be an increase in tobacco consumption.
How does Tobacco affect your oral health?
Tobacco is a plant that contains highly addictive stimulant alkaloid nicotine. Dried tobacco leaves are used in many forms such as smoking in cigarettes, cigars, bidis, and electric cigarettes, chewing tobacco in the form of Gutka and chunna, dipping tobacco, and snus (a powder which is kept between lower lip and gums).
When the tobacco leaves are smoked, nicotine enters the bloodstream through the mouth nose and lungs and from here to the brain. Nicotine hereby exhibits its physostimulating action in the brain which results in the release of dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with the feeling of pleasure. The effects range from mild stimulation to relaxation depending on the amount of consumption. Addiction of tobacco leads to life-threatening chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, malignancy of lungs, mouth, and throat, congenital defects in the newborn if the mother continues consuming tobacco during pregnancy.