It is no secret that secondhand smoke is harmful. It’s a known human carcinogen and many of the chemicals that comprise of the smoke adversely affect human health. While secondhand smoke has been linked to breast cancer, respiratory issues and other health complications, researchers are also showing that secondhand smoke can lead to more cavities in children.
There was also a recent study published by the Journal of American Dental Association that indicated that there is potentially a causal relationship between secondhand smoke and cavities in children.
The authors have been digging through previous observational studies and have discovered that there were 10 strong causes showing a link between cavities in primary teeth and secondhand smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that cavities is the most common chronic disease in children between the ages of 6 to 11 years old and teens between the ages of 12 to 19 years.
But how can secondhand smoke be factor that would affect cavities? At first, it may seem like a very indirect means to be the cause of dental issues. However, there have been proposed mechanisms by which secondhand smoke affects cavities. Secondhand smoke has been linked to decrease in immune function and gaining in flux of oral microbiota. Scientists have found that secondhand smoke has been linked with nasal congestion, leading to increase in mouth breathing. These factors that are consequence to inhaling secondhand smoke are potential triggers of more bacterial production in the oral cavity, leading to cavities.
There is still some ways to go as dentists continue to dig deeper in order to gain a better understanding of the relationship between human habits and the development of cavities. It will be interesting to forward to prospective studies that aim to look deeper into secondhand smoke and children’s cavities.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.