A Need to Spread Awareness Regarding the Ill Effects of Arecanut and Its Commercial Products on Oral Health

Rachana V Prabhu, Vishnudas Prabhu and Laxmikanth Chatra

Areca nut, commonly known as betel nut or supari, is a fruit of areca catechu palm tree, which is native of South Asia and Pacific islands. The seed or endosperm is consumed fresh, boiled or after sun drying or curing. Areca nut is chewed by itself or in the form of commercial preparations like pan masala and gutka. Chewing areca nut is thought to have central nervous system stimulating effect and along with this it is known to have salivary stimulating and digestive properties. Along with the beneficial effects of areca nut one of its most harmful effects on the human body in general and oral cavity in particular is the development of potentially malignant disorder called Oral Submucous Fibrosis. The present paper discusses the ill effects of consumption of areca nut and its commercial products on oral health and a need to spread the awareness regarding the same.