In society, tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products, such as snus and nicotine pouches, are becoming more attractive. There is still a lack of information regarding the effects of these products on the oral mucosa and oral saliva biomarkers. The aim of this study is to evaluate oral mucosa and the presence of inflammatory biomarkers IL-6, IL-1, IL-8, TNF alpha and LRG-1 in saliva. Respondents were divided in four groups based on their tobacco product usage. Oral examination was carried out, saliva samples were taken, and the detection of IL-6, IL-8, IL-1, TNF alpha and LRG-1 levels in saliva was carried out. Out of the tobacco users, 30.8% were snus users, 48.7% were cigarette users and 20.5% were e-cigarette users. The control group was composed of respondents who did not use any tobacco products. E-cigarettes were used more by women, but snus was used more by men. Mucosal changes were seen in the group of snus users, and mucosal changes were only seen in men who had used 5–10 tobacco units per day for 5–10 years. Increased IL-6 levels in saliva were detected in respondents who also experienced mucosal changes. Mucosal changes were white, leathery and localized at the site where snus sachets were placed. Saliva, as an easily available biofluid, could be used as a first tool to detect potentially precancerous signs, but the LRG1 marker cannot be used as a prognostic marker.
Field of Science*
- 3.1 Basic medicine
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database