Posted February 7, 2013
True or False: Does using snuff, a smokeless tobacco product, lower the risk for tooth decay?
False: For years, this myth has been circulated widely without any specific evidence supporting the claim.
Worldwide use of traditional tobacco has declined, while the number of individuals using snuff has increased. New research conducted at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden demonstrated that use of snuff doesn’t lower or raise the risk of tooth decay.
However, the study showed that using some brands of nicotine-free snuff might lead to higher incidences of cavities. Why?
Nicotine-free products may contain 26 percent starch and 6.5 percent carbohydrates, whereas most brands of nicotine snuff have only traces. Tests demonstrated that some nicotine-free brands may lower plaque pH, and when combined with the higher carbs, the risk for tooth decay may be higher.
Learn more about smokeless tobacco products from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
If you use nicotine-free snuff, have you experienced an increase in tooth decay?