Smokeless tobacco, also known as dip or chew, can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, mouth sores, and other serious long-term health problems. It’s also bad for your teeth and gums.

Many people think it’s safer to use smokeless tobacco than cigarettes. And although it is true that smokeless tobacco doesn’t cause lung cancer, it can cause cancers of the lip, tongue, cheek and throat. Holding tobacco in your lip irritates your mouth tissues and can cause white, pre-cancerous patches called leukoplakia to form.

Although the average age of most people diagnosed with oral cancer is 62, young people can also develop the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms of oral cancer include:

-          Sores on the inside of the mouth that don’t heal

-          Pain, numbness or tenderness in the mouth or lips

-          A lump or small-eroded area in the mouth

-          A prolonged sore throat

-          Difficulty chewing

Restricted movement of the tongue or jaws and/or a feeling of something lodged in the throat.

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