Medical researchers have long warned about the dangers that smoking presents to your overall health. However, smoking also increases your risk of needing a root canal, according to a 30-year long study conducted by researchers from Boston University.
This study, presented in the April 2006 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, tracked the oral health of men for 30 years. Data such as their incidences of periodontal disease, tooth loss and mobility, incidence of cavities, need for restorations, and the presence of calculus were all tracked. The data was collected every three years for almost three decades. Factors that can also lead to the need for a root canal, such as age, the presence of periodontal infections, cavities, bone loss, and the presence of dental crowns were adjusted for during the study.
The research indicates that men who smoke are nearly twice as likely to need a root canal. Although the study only tracked men, the researchers believe that the results also apply to female smokers. The longer the person smoked, the more likely they are to be affected. As a result, the researchers warn that smokers should take steps to quit as soon as possible.
Smoking can cause dry mouth and makes healing from things like gum disease, sores, and other oral health issues difficult. Smokers, on average, take far longer to heal from dental procedures and other injuries of the mouth than non-smokers. The environment created by smoking may also help bacteria that break down enamel thrive, as the mouth is drier and there is less saliva to wash away the bacteria and remineralize the teeth. Saliva is a very important part of your oral health and smoking impedes its production, which creates an environment in which tooth destroy bacteria thrive.
If you smoke, call Dr. Zadeh, dentist in Beverly Hills, to schedule a routine examination and cleaning. Although getting a checkup cannot decrease the negative effects that smoking has on your dental health, it can prevent dental problems from becoming severe by helping to identify them early, when they are more easily treated.