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Oral Surgery/chewing tobacco/mouth cancer


I used chewing tobacco rarely and sporadically from 20 to 30 years old (about 20 total cans over that time). Now I am 40 years old, have not used in 10 years. What is my estimated relative risk (compared to the overall population) of getting mouth cancer?

David -  Similar to those individuals who stop smoking, the chance of a cancerous development from the tobacco greatly reduces each year that the mouth tissue is not exposed to the tobacco. So you are probably fairly safe.  Of course, even people who never smoke or chew tobacco development mouth cancer, but the chances for you have greatly decreased since you stopped.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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