It’s no secret that smoking is one of the most unhealthy habits out there, but what is it doing to the people around you? New studies are saying that secondhand smoke can affect the dental health of the loved ones around you.
Smokers are at a greater risk for periodontal disease, which is the infection of the bacteria that gets trapped below the gum line. Smoking hinders healthy gum tissue cells, which can separate your gums from the bone. When this happens, your teeth are even more susceptible to infection.
Unfortunately, the same thing goes for secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is measured by levels of cotinine, which is a by-product of the nicotine found in tobacco. Children with higher levels of cotinine in their body could be at greater risk for dental cavities.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology reported that rodents that already had periodontal disease had even more bone loss when exposed to secondhand smoke. This extends even further to previous studies that linked children’s teeth with higher levels of decay when they were exposed to secondhand smoke. A review of 15 studies published between 1990 and 2010 shows that there is a link between the number of cavities in primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) and secondhand smoke.
Though scientists are still researching the issue for even more solid evidence, there’s a huge amount of proof that secondhand smoke isn’t good for anyone, especially children. If you’re struggling with quitting smoking or fear your child’s teeth might be in danger from secondhand smoke, call and make an appointment with Dr. Real at (714) 525-2888. Dr. Real can evaluate the status of your child’s teeth and maybe even give you some pointers on how to quit smoking so as to keep you and your child healthy.