Does Secondhand Smoke Increase Tooth Decay? The Answer May Surprise You

Does Secondhand Smoke Increase Tooth Decay? The Answer May Surprise You

In Kobe Japan, a study was conducted that looked at the effects of secondhand smoke on the teeth of children. This is important because many children are subjected to secondhand smoke by strangers and relatives alike.  What did the study reveal?

Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke as early as the age of 4 months had double the risk of forming cavities as kids who were not subjected to secondhand smoke at home. For those who think it is just a matter of stepping outside and not smoking around the kids, consider this: three-year-olds who lived with a smoker had a 50% increase in the risk of cavities, even if the smoker chose not to light up around the kids.

This comprehensive study lasted 6 years and involved dental records from almost 77,000 kids. The study revealed four powerful effects of secondhand smoke on the body:

  1. Reduces immune system function
  2. Decreases levels of serum vitamin C in the body
  3. Impairs functionality of the salivary glands
  4. Leads to oral membrane inflammation

All of these factors can affect oral health. If you or another household member needed one more reason to quit smoking, now you have it. Do it for your children’s teeth.

In the Forefront of Pediatric Dental Health Awareness

In order to help parents provide their children with the best dental health possible, BRSH+FLSS Pediatric Dentistry stays in the forefront of pediatric dental news, practices, and technology. That’s why our pediatric dentists go the extra mile and maintain non-mandatory board-certification – so you know your kids are getting the best care possible. To learn more or to schedule an appointment call us today at 619-741-1500.