Effects of Smoking on Root Canal Treatments
Cigarette smoking can result in a variety of health problems throughout the body, including issues affecting the mouth. Now, researchers have found that smokers are also more likely to need root canal treatment. Here is a look at the study findings and their implications for patients who smoke.
A Long-Term Study
This study began with collection of data from older male participants in the Veterans Affairs starting in 1968. For the next 30 years, researchers tracked the oral health of these patients during scheduled checkups that were spaced three years apart. During each visit, the researchers recorded all oral health problems, such as cavities and gum disease. They also kept track of needed restorations, such as fillings and root canals. To determine the impact of smoking on the root canal risk, researchers adjusted for several factors, including age, bone loss, cavities and signs of periapical infection.
Smoking and Root Canal Risk
In addition to finding that smoking raised the risk of root canal, the researchers found that this risk increased with the length of the smoking habit. At the same time, the risk went down with more time after quitting smoking. Although this study looked only at male smokers, the researchers stated that these findings probably would apply to women who also smoke.
Root canal is an invaluable treatment for saving damaged teeth, but prevention of tooth infections through the cessation of smoking is preferable by far. Patients can schedule a consultation with our expert in root canal in San Fernando Valley to learn more about how smoking increases the risks of needing a root canal treatment.
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