Link between Smoking Cigarettes and Root Canal Treatments
Smoking has been linked to many general health problems throughout the body, including lung cancer, cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Now, an association between smoking and root canals has also been found. In a study performed at Boston University, researchers discovered this link after analyzing data collected by Veterans Affairs.
The data used in this study concerned the oral health of aging men. Starting in 1968, researchers recorded their progression of oral health problems for almost 30 years. A variety of issues were linked to the root canal risk, including tooth decay, age, bone loss, previous crown restorations and any signs of periapical infection. This makes sense, as root canal treatment has broad applications for repairing teeth after infections and other damage.
In addition to finding that smoking raised root canal risks, researchers found that the number of years spent smoking also mattered. By contrast, patients who quit smoking had a gradual decrease in root canal risk. This again demonstrates that patients can benefit from quitting smoking at any age. While the study only looked at men, these results most often extend to women, as well.
Increased root canal risk from smoking is one more reason for patients to avoid this habit or quit if they have already started. While a root canal is a painless procedure thanks to modern anesthesia, prevention of tooth infections is always preferable to treatment. Patients can learn more about the oral health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting smoking at a consultation with our expert in root canal in East Los Angeles.
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