The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) takes the following position regarding the use of tobacco by humans: Tobacco products come in many forms. Some are smoked and others are not, but none is safe for human consumption. In addition to their serious systemic effects, all have adverse oral health consequences, and risks usually are in proportion to the product used, its intensity and the duration of tobacco use. The use of tobacco products is a major risk factor for oral and pharyngeal cancers (head and neck cancers). Tobacco use also increases the risk of periodontal disease and decreases the ability of oral tissues to heal. Other oral effects include halitosis (bad breath), decreased ability to taste, and increased staining of teeth, gingival pigmentation, and a variety of mucosal lesions. Tobacco smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of developing fetal anomalies such as cleft lip and cleft palate. The AADR encourages continued research to further elucidate the health effects of tobacco use, identify the biological mechanisms and behavioral patterns and relative risks involved in producing these effects, and to develop and evaluate effective methods for prevention and cessation. The AADR further encourages the development of collaborations with other organizations and non-dental healthcare providers, public and for-profit institutions to help inform members and the public of research findings about harm reduction products and the conditions and risks associated with tobacco use.
(adopted 1996, revised 2015)