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Effect of Smoking on Root Canal Treatments

Effect of Smoking on Root Canal Treatments

The effects of smoking on your general health is well-established. Aside from oral cancers, what is less known is the effect it has one oral health in general. That is, until recently.
A long-term study that has been going on since 1968 with men in Veteran Affairs has provided concrete evidence that smoking has significant problems for teeth. More specifically, regular cigarette smokers were significantly more likely to need to get root canal therapy more often than men that did not smoke cigarettes. This was done merely by examining the evidence in front of them, looking at the patients history of dental work and whether or not they smoked.

Encouragingly, men who had quit smoking had dental work that fell between the two categories of smokers and non-smokers. This shows that smoking is not necessarily something that will cause permanent long-term damage to the health of teeth, but rather that the longer they go without smoking, the more healthy their teeth will become. This fact was born out completely in the survey. As with all things smoking, this is yet further reason to quit smoking.

While the study only looked at men, the authors suggest that there is no reason to believe the same results would not be found in women, as well. Moreover, the study also accounted for other risk factors to determine relative correlation. The authors took into account and adjusted for cavities, age, presence of crowns, bone loss, and gum disease, yet found that smoking was the simple biggest factor in determining the need for root canals.

Contact our root canal dentist in Los Angeles to find out if you might need one.


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