We know that you have likely heard this before, but smoking is bad for you. It's bad for your overall health and your oral health, and now researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland have found that it is also bad for the pulp, or the living tissue, found in your teeth. Dr. Warren and Dr. Hagerman advise their patients to consider quitting smoking (and vaping) to protect their health.
The researchers at Case Western found that smoking has other adverse side effects beyond raising blood pressure, damaging the lungs, increasing the risk of developing all forms of cancer and damage gum tissue - it weakens the ability of dental pulp to fight off disease-causing bacteria and other illnesses. This leaves the teeth susceptible to germs and causes delayed healing. The combination of weakened pulp and delayed healing means adverse endodontic outcomes and loss of teeth for many individuals.
Why This Matters
This study is important because it is one of the few research projects to look at how smoking affects the inside of the teeth; most studies have focused on how smoking can negatively affect the outside of the teeth. It can also explain why smokers have a higher chance of developing gum disease and are almost twice as likely to need a root canal than nonsmokers.
Another Take Away
Not only did the study find that the dental pulp of smokers is more susceptible to illness, but the researchers also found that individuals who quit smoking had dental pulp that regained its defense system over time. So, once again, we cannot stress enough that quitting smoking or vaping can mean significant benefits for your health!
It's one thing to tell you to quit, and it's another to give you some tools to help you quit. Here are some tips from Dr. Warren and Dr. Hagerman that can help you stop smoking today:
Plan. Make your plan to quit by deciding on the date you will stop smoking. Avoid stressors and triggers that make you want to smoke, including stress, caffeine, coffee, alcohol and people who smoke. We also recommend you throw out cigarettes, e-cigarettes and lighters.
Get Support. Let your family and friends know that you have chosen to quit and how they can help you on your path.
Keep Busy. Smoking is a habit that takes a lot of time, so we suggest replacing it with a healthy habit, such as exercise, instead. Replace your cigarettes or e-cigarettes with sugarless gum whenever you have a craving.
Trying to quit smoking? We can help. Call us today at 623-748-5162.