Smokeless AlternativesYour Quit

Fake Dip – One Dentist’s Opinion

Question Mark KeyIf you’ve read the blog here you know I’m a huge fan of fake dip / smokeless alternatives as a tool to be used by someone who’e early in their quit.  I’ve often said that I’d much rather chew a can a day of the fake stuff for the rest of my life than ever have another dip of Kodiak. And as I sit here writing this post at 3,202 days quit I still firmly believe that.

We often get asked if fake dip is “bad” for you or if it causes gum recession. I’ve always given this as my standard answer:

“I’m guessing that putting ANYTHING between your cheek and gum isn’t necessarily a good thing and could potentially cause recession / harm.”

That being said, I’m not a dentist so I’ve always wondered:

Is fake dip bad for your teeth and gums?

The question came up again the other day on another post A Day at the Dentist For a Former Tobacco User when KTC member Jacob asked:

“Does fake chew still harm your gums? I threw in my first pinch on my third day of being off skoal. Elicit was the specific brand. And it burned like hell! Now I feel like my gums are all soft and stuff…. I don’t want to do this if it’s still going to harm my gums.”

I reached out to Dr. Jack who we’ve had as a guest in our live chat to get an answer from a dentist’s perspective. Here’s what he had to say…

“I am glad to see you are still keeping up the great work at Kill the Can.
I agree with your response. I went online to try to locate ingredients in Elicit. No surprise, can not find them anywhere. Elicit does contain nicotine.”

ED NOTE: As I said in my Elicit review, there ARE some versions of Elicit that contain nicotine… there are other versions (which I sampled) that do not.

Dr. Jack continues…

“The nicotine is usually delivered to your blood stream by entering your cheek/gum tissue thru irritation to the soft tissue. Chronic irritation to soft tissue causes chronic turnover of tissue cells. Increased tissue turnover, increased the risk of the cellular process going bad (carcinoma). “fake chew” is just like chew in my opinion. Hope this helps.”

I don’t want to put words in Jack’s mouth, but I’d also suggest that while fake chew may be “bad” it’s CERTAINLY better than the real stuff, ESPECIALLY since it will allow you to wean yourself off BOTH products. For me, I chewed the fake for a good 220+ days into my quit and then one day I just didn’t need it any more. This is why I’ve always told folks to use it as much as necessary during their quit – it’s a tool, a very successful tool, and one that eventually you won’t need any more.

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Zach Doane
Zach Doane
3 years ago

I agree im 31 years old and have been using Kodiak wintergreen since I was 19. Over the years îts ate away at my bottom gums severely almost to the extent were my bottom front teeth have loosened. I’ve now switched to Rogue tobacco free chew and I’m not turning back. I highly recommend it ?

richard cephal
richard cephal
4 years ago

No causation or methodological study here. The brand of non tobacco chew did contain nicotine which does irritate the inside of the mouth. There are non tobacco chews that are purely herbs and contain no tobacco and no nicotine – just herbs. If we’re going down the road of herbs causing issue to the gums I’d have to loudly disagree, depending, of course, on the herb. Obviously you wouldn’t want to chew poison ivy, right? But then again that isn’t an herb, however I thought I’d beat the poo-pooers to the punch. Any soothing, medicating, herb that is genuine to the healing family should not cause any harm unless you have a personal reaction.

5 years ago

I’ve dipped skoal for 35 years, last several years it’s been a can and a half a day habit. I decided two weeks ago to quit, I picked up a can of smokey mountain mint and surprisingly I’ve had no withdrawal effects, in this short of time I’m down to a can every two days. Problem is I do notice my gums being sore and raw feeling. I dont believe i can blame the smokey mountain as it could have to do with the sudden stop of skoal with what ever chemicals my gums have been use to having 16 hours a day for 35 years.

Sonal priya
7 years ago

Excellent information about the fake dip and We strive to provide our candidates with excellent care. As always, we appreciate your confidence and trust in us. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have.

9 years ago

Just to piggy back on this post, I totally agree with this author. I chewed a can a day of the fake stuff at the beginning of my quit. I just crossed over the 300 day mark and I am now down to 2-3 fake dips a day now. “Eventually” things do simmer down and you start to use less and less of the fake stuff. I used to pop a dip in, right when I woke up and often fell asleep with one in mouth at night when I chewed the real stuff (I know, sum sick stuff, but that’s ADDICTION). You do slow down on consumption though. My hopes are to get a way from it completely, but, again, as the author said, I would gladly chew a can of the fake stuff, each day of my life, than return to the real stuff.
Also, real quick, my dentist said the same thing, ANYTHING, you tuck in your cheek will damage those soft tissues. Hell, even sunflower seeds seem to eat away at the lining in my mouth, but not nearly as bad as that tobacco did!
Day #301

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