What is chewing Gutka and Pan Masala?
Chewing betel leaves with other flavorings is a common mouth-freshener. People who like tobacco apply tobacco to the base, otherwise, sweetened rose petals, betel nut, peppermint powder, cardamom are used to make it refresh. The chewing and preparing of betel leaves are time-consuming and require ingredients for fresh breath and mouth.
Gutka is the alternative for the betel leaves.
Ingredients such as betel nut, paraffin wax slaked lime, areca nuts, catechu, and tobacco is used to produce gutka. With these additives, thousands of other chemicals are used to provide the unique taste and tingling feeling in the mouth. Such additives also serve to increase the product’s shelf-life. The whole material is bundled in an airtight bag to prevent it from moisture. Gutka has minor to serious side effects, which at some point seriously affect individuals.
Effects Of Chewing Pan Masala & Gutka:
More and more people are walking into hospital OPDs these days, saying they are unable to open their mouths. Nearly all of them complain of mouth soreness and excessive pain in the oral cavity. Many have a nasal voice and feel that they are unable to blow the cheeks and stretch the tongue and difficulty in swallowing. All these patients suffer from oral submucosal fibrosis (OSMF). Most patients are between the ages of 20-35, few of them are as young as 13. Males suffer more often than females. All patients have a history of chewing gutka, either separately or in combination with pan masala, tobacco, or betel nut.
Chewing Gutka is a harmful habit for society and the environment. In the public areas, chewing and spitting Gutka and Pan Masala makes the environment dirty, and people feel annoyed. Regardless of age group, the number of people who chew gutka is rising day by day. From the health perspective, pan masala includes ingredients such as tobacco or lime betel nut (gutka), which is very harmful to health and can lead to cancer.
Using gutka can cause vomiting, nausea, cramps in the stomach and diarrhea. It can also cause heartburn, high or low blood pressure, increased body temperature, and irregular heartbeat. Betel chewing can also damage the gums, and people can feel the dryness and burning of the mouth.
Some people report breathing problems after consuming gutka. Many people feel wheezing and an increase in breathing rate. While there are no reported allergic reactions in medical literature, individuals who have allergies to other Palmaceae members may experience gutka reactions.
Betel nut contains possibly carcinogenic substances. Consistence use might trigger oral submucous fibrosis, a condition that makes mouth opening difficult. It can also cause pre-cancerous mouth lesions, and cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Heavy use may also raise the risk of other mouth cancers, stomach, liver, prostate, cervix, and lung cancers. Some acute effects can include fast heartbeat, low blood pressure, and asthma worsening.
Chemicals in the betel leaves, along with dilated pupils and blurred vision, can cause changes in skin color. Gutka may also cause or exacerbate conditions including stiffness of the muscle, tremors, difficulty in moving certain parts of the body, and unwanted mouth or face movement.
Some people feel signs of toxicity from gutka use. These include higher production of saliva, increased weeping, vomiting, constipation, nausea, flushing, and fever. Other symptoms may include eye movement issues, anxiety, psychosis, amnesia, or euphoric feeling. With long-term use, symptoms like anxiety and memory loss can occur.
Almost all consumers know that chewing gutka is bad for health and tried to stop it but failed, because of consequences such as headache, dizziness, and loss of control during the time they tried to stop.
Gutka Side Effects Treatment
There are many treatments for side effects of chewing gutka and pan masala. Patients should be informed about the disease and its possible malignancy. Mindful counseling on de-addiction should be provided. Support by awareness and activism. The patient should strictly Avoid pan or tobacco chewing, Stop smoking, Avoid alcohol consumption, Minimize the intake of spicy foods, coffee, and tea, Maintain oral hygiene. There are gutka side effects treatments in Ayurvedic Toothpaste and homeopathy as well as allopathy.