the practice of betel quid* chewing with them from their homeland.
stop the highly addictive habit that could cost them their life.
suppressant and to induce euphoria in users from a range of countries including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,
Taiwan and Myanmar. Through immigration, the use of betel quid has spread globally including to Australia in
the last two decades.
said the Australian Dental Association’s oral medicine specialist Professor Michael McCullough.
with the devastating consequences of betel quid chewing.
practices around Australia are collectively seeing around 60 to 100 people a year presenting with damage to
their mouths related to betel quid use.”
likely to have poor oral hygiene, bad breath, tooth wear, gum recession, periodontal pockets or gaps around
the tooth associated with severe gum disease and bleeding gums.
developing soft tissue lesions, including leukoplakia (white patches on soft tissue), eythroplakia (red patches)
and oral submucous fibrosis (which is progressive fibrosis or thickening and scarring of the mouth’s deep
tissues), which can all progress to oral cancer
away with a finger or cloth, an ulcer that has not healed after two weeks, and a change in firmness or texture
of the mouth’s soft tissue particularly on the tongue or cheeks.
to these signs and the need for referral for specialist investigation if any symptoms are detected,” said
a routine dental check-up. This is when some dentists are picking up these unfortunate signs of betel quid
cancer, observational studies in South-East Asian countries showed that the interaction of smoking, alcohol
and betel quid chewing could increase oral cancer risk by 23 to 34 times.
areca nut has been recognized as a group 1 carcinogen, independent of the effects of tobacco, according to a
World Health Organization (WHO) report.
recommends that Australians don’t chew betel nut or its derivatives to decrease their risk of developing precancerous or cancerous lesions within the mouth or throat,” said Professor McCullough.