As you may have heard before, “secondhand smoke kills.” It sure does. Nearly 54,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke. A combined total of more than 480,000 deaths a year are caused from smoking and secondhand smoke. It can sometimes be easy to forget that even non-smokers are in danger of health problems as a result of cigarette smoke. Not to mention, children are at a high risk of developing several chronic diseases and health issues because of secondhand smoke.
There are many reasons to avoid smoking, and in this article, we’ll offer you yet another reason. Believe it or not, secondhand smoke can negatively impact your oral health. Although more research is needed in the area, it is believed that children are at risk of developing tooth decay from secondhand smoke.
15 studies were conducted and reviewed in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by researchers in Japan about the possible correlation between secondhand smoke and the development of cavities in children. The studies reported weak to moderate evidence that secondhand smoke causes cavities in primary teeth, yet, more information is needed to make a conclusive argument.
Further, Researchers now have concluded that smoking is one of the causes of periodontal disease because tobacco can damage gums and leave teeth susceptible to infection. This makes smokers more at risk for developing periodontal disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 47% of adults have either mild, moderate or severe periodontitis in the United States. The early stages of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which can eventually lead to periodontitis if untreated.
In a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers investigated the link between serum cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, and periodontitis in U.S. non-smokers. The study found that non-smokers exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) had 1.45 times the odds of moderate/severe periodontitis as unexposed non-smokers.
In addition, smokers and non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke are more prone to significant amounts of oral bone loss. For example, research in the Journal of Periodontology showed the correlation between secondhand smoke and oral bone loss in rats. The study concluded that rats with periodontitis that were exposed to secondhand smoke were at greater risk of experiencing oral bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.
Along with serious oral issues, secondhand smoke has caused oral cancer, breast cancer, middle ear infections in children, pregnancy problems, asthma, lung disease, heart disease, among many other health problems.
If you are a smoker, quitting is the best option to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Whether being exposed in homes, cars, offices, or other public places, secondhand smoke is severely detrimental to oral and overall health.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. 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.