Background: Tobacco use in various forms, including with Areca nut, causes several potentially malignantdisorders. Many lesions may transform into oral squamous cell carcinoma. Although patients may be aware ofthe hazards of tobacco habits, the lesions by themselves are insidious in nature resulting in failure of patientsto present to general dentists/specialists at early stages. Our aim was to study the types of habits prevalent inthe region of Rourkela in Orissa and to assess the insidious nature of the lesions associated with these habits.Not many studies have been done from this part of India. Materials and
Methods: A camp was conducted forhabitual users of tobacco and its products, Areca nut and other mixed habit users. A thorough history wastaken of the type, duration and frequency of habits, symptoms of patients along with clinical examination bya single examiner. The data was entered in detail into an excel sheet and analysed.
Results: 54.7% had lesionsand 60.9 % of them were asymptomatic and rest had mild burning sensation while eating. There was a very lowawareness of the presence of lesions among the patients.
Conclusions: There is a need to spread the awareness ofthe ill effects of the tobacco and other associated habits far and wide and more importantly educate the generalpublic on the appearance of associated lesions as these are almost always insidious in nature. The patients canself-examine, detect lesions early when present and approach the dentist at the earliest opportunity.