New Study Links Secondhand Smoke Exposure to Cavities in Children
SUGAR LAND, Texas– Sweetpea Smiles, a Sugar Land dental practice for children, is giving smokers another reason to kick the habit for good. A recent study examined approximately 77,000 children born between 2004-2010 in Japan, and shows that those children who live with parents who smoke are 50% more likely to have tooth decay. This study is not the first done on the hazardous health effects of secondhand smoke, but is opening parents’ eyes to
the risks of smoking.
“Exposure to secondhand smoke comes with a lot of health implications; one of which is an increased risk for cavities in children under the age of three,” said Nasha Hunter, a pediatric dentist in Sugar Land, Texas. “The microorganisms in the mouth are affected in a number of ways including inflammation of the membranes, damage to the salivary gland function, and decrease in the overall immune function. When combined, these factors lead to an increase in the number of child tooth decay cases seen each year.”
According to the American Dental Association, this is not the first study done to make the connection between secondhand smoke and dental cavities. In 2015, authors of the Journal of the American Dental Association came together to review 15 studies conducted on the topic. Their review found that 10 of these studies showed a weak to moderate link between cavities in baby teeth and secondhand smoke, while the remaining five studies showed a small link between secondhand smoke and permanent teeth.
As a Sugar Land dental practice for children, Sweetpea Smiles encourages all patients and their parents to avoid tobacco in any form as it can lead to incurable damage. While cavities may be increasing in pediatric patients exposed to secondhand smoke, if the child goes on to become a tobacco user themselves, there is also an increased risk for oral cancer.
About Sweetpea Smiles: As a pediatric dentist in Sugar Land, Texas, Sweetpea Smiles provides dental care for children from board certified pediatric specialists. Whether your child is in need of a simple exam and cleaning, a filling, or even orthodontic services, Sweetpea Smiles has the knowledge and expertise to make your child feel comfortable in the dentist chair.