Secondhand Smoke and Dental Cavities
Tobacco can cause many dental problems for smokers and other tobacco users. Smoking or chewing tobacco can lead to dry mouth, periodontal disease, slow healing, an increased risk of cavities and a higher need for root canal therapy. Tobacco use is also linked to oral cancer. However, a new study found that tobacco can cause problems even in those who use no tobacco. According to the review, which was published in “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,” secondhand smoke could trigger cavities in children who live with smokers.
The researchers evaluated several studies, including one that measured blood levels of a nicotine byproduct to determine the amount of exposure. Secondhand smoke may soon join known tooth decay risk factors such as poor dental hygiene, insufficient fluoride intake, an unhealthy diet and low socioeconomic status. If you smoke, you can help protect your child by taking steps to reduce his or her exposure to secondhand smoke. He or she may also need more frequent checkups, cleanings and fluoride treatments. Dental sealants and healthy dental habits are extremely important for children of smokers. If you smoke, you may also need to take additional steps to protect your own dental health.
Quitting can be difficult, but we can help you find a smoking cessation program that works for you. Call us today to find out more about kicking the habit or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Frame, our root canal dentist in Santa Clara.
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