Cigarette Smoking and Root Canals

Cigarette Smoking and Root Canals

In case you needed another reason to stop smoking, a recent study has found that smokers are two times as likely to need root canal therapy as those who do not smoke, including former smokers. This study, which was published in the “Journal of Dental Research,” included more than 800 men between 21 and 48 years old and 18,000 teeth, following the subjects for 30 years.

Every three years, the men returned to the study site to receive a dental exam during which they were evaluated for periodontal disease, cavities, and restorations. Their teeth were X-rayed, and the patients were asked about current and former smoking habits and tobacco use. Those who smoked were more likely to need root canal treatment, but the risk declined with the length of time since tobacco was last used.

Although the study was not designed to explore the reason behind the increased risk, researchers theorized that it may be linked to the body’s lowered immune response, which occurs in smokers. Smokers also tend to get more cavities than nonsmokers and are more likely to suffer from dry mouth. Only men were included in the study, but researchers believed that the results would likely also apply to women smokers.

Quitting smoking can be hard, but tobacco cessation programs can provide you with the support you need to quit for good. Our root canal dentist in North Hollywood can help you make positive, healthy changes for your body and your smile. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

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