Danish Dental Association worried about snus use

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Danish Dental Association worried about irreversible damage caused by snus use

Compared with 2014, snus use among schoolchildren increased by 9.4% for boys and by 1.4% for girls in 2019. (Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Snus use by young people in Denmark has increased considerably in recent years, and the Danish Dental Association has expressed its concern about the resulting irreversible damage to the oral cavity and discoloration of the teeth. Now, a new law has been passed banning the use of tobacco products—including snus—in Danish secondary and vocational schools.

The proportion of secondary school students who use snus daily has increased significantly in recent years. In 2019, 11.3% of high school boys and 1.6% of high school girls used snus daily, compared with only 1.9% of boys and 0.2% of girls in 2014, according to a 2019 survey by the Danish National Institute of Public Health.

In 2017, the Danish Dental Association conducted a survey of 527 dentists regarding the oral effects of snus use. It found that four out of ten dentists had treated patients who showed oral cavity damage related to snus use. Mucosal changes and receding gingivae were the most common consequences. In addition, a third of dentists saw patients with discoloured teeth.

Like cigarettes, snus contains nicotine and carcinogens. Susanne Kleist, chairperson of the Danish Dental Association, said in a press release: “Snus irritates the oral mucosa and can cause the gingiva to recede. Once the gingiva has receded and teeth have been exposed, it will not recover even if one stops using snus. The nicotine in snus also makes it easy to become addicted and may encourage more young people to smoke.”

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