Consumption of tobacco can result not only in a multitude of different general health problems like carcinoma of the lung, ischaemic cardiac diseases, peripheral vascular diseases, stroke, chronic-obstructive pulmonary diseases or peptic ulcers, but also in pathologic lesions of the oral mucosa. Benign oral lesions from smoking or consumption of smokeless tobacco are the so-called smoker's palate and smoker's melanosis. On the other hand, tobacco-associated lesions like oral leukoplakia or oral squamous cell carcinoma are already potentially life-threatening diseases that in general require active treatment. The following review article will present and discuss the typical lesions of the oral mucosa that result from chronic tobacco consumption. The aim of this article is to demonstrate dental health care providers the needs and benefits of tobacco use cessation in a dental setting, especially regarding stomatologic sequelae and consequences. The present article is the first in a series of articles from the Swiss task force "Smoking - Intervention in the private dental office" on the topic "tobacco use and dental medicine".
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