Are You At Risk of Cavities from Secondhand Smoke?
We have all been told of the risk of getting cavities from not brushing or from eating sugary snacks and drinking sugary drinks. Did you ever think that their might be other dangerous factors out there that lead to cavities in children?
According to a study from Japan in the BMJ, children approximately 4 months old who are exposed to secondhand smoke are likely to have an increased risk of tooth decay by age 3. In the study, approximately 55% of the parents smoked and 7% of the children were exposed to secondhand smoke. Overall, approximately 13,000 cases of cavities were found.
“Although these findings cannot establish causality, they support extending public health and clinical interventions to reduce secondhand smoke.”, stated the researchers. The study shows that the level of cavities in baby teeth remains high in developed countries. Exposure to secondhand smoke affects 4 out of 10 children worldwide.
While we have been programmed for a while now to understand that prevention of caries (cavities) can be accomplished by limiting sugar intake and supplementing oral fluoride, now we are being told that some studies suggest association between secondhand smoke and cavities. However, there is still an uncertainty as to whether or not keeping children away from secondhand smoke will actually contribute to cavity prevention.
The connection between secondhand smoke and the increased risk of cavities is being studied more often now. Early secondhand smoke and later tooth decay is being examined more and more, even though researchers are finding only a moderate connection. Still, the evidence is there and should be taken seriously.
If you are a smoker and you have small children, try your best to refrain from smoking near them. It’s not only an oral health issue – it’s an overall health issue.