Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. However, did you know that smoking could increase your likelihood of having a root canal? A study conducted over the past 30 years shows that smokers may have more dental problems than non-smokers. Elizabeth Krall Kaye, Ph.D. conducted the study. As an expert from the Boston University Dental School, she states that those who smoke have a 70 percent greater chance of needing a root canal. The information was staggering.
The correlation between your general and oral health is undeniable. The study used x-rays from more than 18,000 teeth. Dr. Kaye reviewed the data along with other endodontic residents. Each patient’s smoking habits were observed. During the study, they found that almost 1,000 teeth needed a root canal. Those who smoked more were the ones that needed the procedure.
Experts were able to find that quitting showed some positive effects too. Patients who reduced or quit smoking reduced their risks of oral health issues. Only a few patients smoked cigars in the study, so not enough data was collected to be conclusive. Dr. Kaye estimates that half of the participants received a root canal by the time they were 50 years of age.
Cavities that are not treated right away can decay into the soft tissues of the tooth, which is known as the pulp. The tissues and blood vessels in the area become inflamed. The infected tissues must be removed, and a filler is put into the area to keep bacteria at bay. How cigarette smokers are at an increased risk for tooth decay and a root canal requires more evaluation. However, the study shows shocking numbers that make those who smoke consider their oral health.
If you currently smoke and need help quitting, contact your doctor. Also, make sure to schedule your Los Angeles root canal treatment if required. Letting a cavity go continues to threaten the life of the tooth, which could impact your smile.