Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Root Canal Treatments
Smoking can stain your teeth and leave your breath smelling foul long after the cigarette has gone out. It can increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, and dry mouth. A recent study shows that smokers are also more likely to need root canals compared to nonsmokers, and this risk increases with the number of years the habit has lasted.
The study, which was published in the “Journal of Dental Research,” included more than eight hundred men between the ages of twenty-one and forty-eight, and followed them for more than thirty years. Every three years, the study participants returned for complete dental evaluations and were checked for cavities, gum disease, dental restorations, and other dental issues. Their smoking status was also documented.
Researchers found that smoking nearly doubled the incidence of root canal therapy. The study did not determine the reason for increased need for root canals in smokers. However, smokers do tend to have more cavities, which contribute to the need for the treatment. Smoking also weakens the immune response and the body’s ability to fight infections. Women were not included in the study, but female smokers would likely have a similarly high risk for the same reasons.
The best option to eliminate this issue is to quit smoking. When you quit, your body begins to heal the damage associated with tobacco use immediately. Dr. Mondavi can help direct you to the resources you need to quit successfully. Until then, take the time to brush and floss your teeth carefully, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash each time you brush. Eat a balanced diet, and visit us as recommended for cleanings. Call our office today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. Mondavi.
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