The Oral Effects of Tobacco Use- Recognition and Patient Management

Publication ID Published Version
9232 September 10, 2012 8
Indiana University


Tobacco use is a primary cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the U.S. alone, tobacco - related diseases kill approximately 500,000 people per year. Tobacco exerts its affects on numerous body systems in a dose-dependent manner. The initial interaction of tobacco with the human body occurs in the mouth. Because of the oral cavity’s natural environment (rapid cell turnover, bacterial load etc.) and its vascularity, it is not unexpected that the reaction to tobacco is quite active here and that resulting exposure to tobacco can be most intense. Both the soft tissues and hard tissues of the oral and maxillofacial complex are affected by the use of smoking tobacco and smokeless (spit) tobacco. Therefore, it is important for health care practitioners to understand the effects of tobacco on the oral and maxillofacial complex in order to identify and manage such oral adverse effects. This teaching module includes a complete set of lecture slides with instructor notes, along with 30 assessment items for students to assess their comprehension of the content subsequent to engaging the presentation.

The module has been utilized as a lecture for several oral health professions audiences and student evaluations have deemed it to be an effective presentation due to the use of images of the lesions being discussed and the accompanying explanations. The content is significant for learners about to enter the clinical setting, or already involved in patient care because they can readily apply the material to a clinical encounter. After completion of the module, the student is better prepared to detect and manage oral tobacco–related lesions. In addition, they have a stronger appreciation of the complexity and broad scope of consequences from tobacco use that can be found in the oral and maxillofacial complex. As such, it is anticipated that they may be more likely to engage their tobacco-using patients in education and cessation counseling.


Romito L, Christen A, Coan L. The Oral Effects of Tobacco Use- Recognition and Patient Management. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by August 22, 2015

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To describe the relationship of tobacco use and periodontal health.
  2. To describe the relationship of tobacco use and dental caries.
  3. To identify and describe soft and hard tissue lesions of the oral and maxillofacial complex associated with tobacco use.
  4. To describe communication techniques, utilizing the 5As tobacco intervention to address tobacco use in their patients, particularly in whom oral manifestations of tobacco use are identified.


  • Tobacco Use Cessation, Caries, Smoking, Nicotine, Cigarette, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection


  • Medical
    • Family Medicine
    • Preventive Medicine
  • Dental
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
    • Preventive Dentistry


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
    • Promote health prevention
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement
    • Incorporate feedback

Professional Interest

  • Health Education
  • Oral Health
  • Substance Abuse

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
  • Lecture

Organ Systems

  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Respiratory system

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Pathology
    • Psychology/Behavioral Science
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student
    • Nursing Student


  • Presentation
  • Reference

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ISSN 2374-8265