Original Publication
Open Access

The Oral Effects of Tobacco Use - Recognition and Patient Management

Published: September 10, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9232

Included in this publication:

  • Assessment.doc
  • BOHC Toolkit.pdf
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Oral Effects of Tobacco Use.ppt
  • References.doc
  • Slides Script.doc
  • Test Construction Blueprint.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Tobacco use is a primary cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the US alone, tobacco-related diseases kill approximately 500,000 people per year. 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. 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. Methods: This teaching module on the oral effects of tobacco use 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. Results: 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. Discussion: 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.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

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

Author Information

  • Laura Romito: Indiana University
  • Arden Christen: Indiana University
  • Lorinda Coan: Indiana University

None to report.

None to report.


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Romito L, Christen A, Coan L. The oral effects of tobacco use - recognition and patient management. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9232. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9232

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.