Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
We already are aware of the many health danger of smoking, and the fact that tobacco use is one of the worst things for your teeth and gums. It increases the risk of gum disease, which inevitably means you’re more likely to lose your teeth. In fact, smokers have about double the risk of developing gum disease than a nonsmoker. Furthermore, female smokers are 2.5 times more likely to experience tooth loss related to tobacco use, while men have 3.5 times the risk.
Recently we ran across this study and found it interesting, and probably relatable for many of our readers as it relates to how smoking affects the immune system.
Researchers are discovering why these risks are much higher, and are already well on their way to determining that smoking decreases the immune system’s ability to heal and recover from illnesses.
According to a new study by Case Western University that was published in the Journal of Endodontics, concludes that smokers have a lowered immune response to infections. Here is a look at the specifics of that study.
Researchers looked at 69 subjects, of that number 32 were smokers, and 37 were nonsmokers, all of which had irreversible endodontic pulpitis, which commonly is caused by an infection. Some subjects were asymptomatic, meaning that they experienced zero symptoms, while the others did. In order to resolve their condition, root canal therapy would need to take place. Immune responses to the active infection were studied.
Their findings concluded that smokers have much less of these two specific key immune compounds known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and human beta-defensin (hBD)-2. The levels of these compounds were found to be related to smoking and had nothing to do with whether the subject was asymptomatic or not. These findings also explain why smokers often experience failed root canal therapy versus those that receive a root canal and that don’t smoke.
If the body has this type of response just to a single infected tooth, how could a smoker’s body be responding to a much more significant infection such as the flu, common cold, or worse? So, if you’re tired of getting sick all of the time and you’re a smoker, you might want to think about kicking the habit. Having a lowered immune system response could make you more susceptible to catching other illnesses and getting sicker. So, by kicking the habit once and for all, your body will not only thank you but your oral health as well.
Are you looking for a dentist in Scotts Valley?
If you are looking for a dentist in the Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, or Los Gatos area of California, look no further than Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. We offer a wide range of services from general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, and we have special services that include sleep apnea, TMJ, and tongue-tie treatment and more! If you would like to take a look at the services that we provide, please click here.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office by calling (831) 438-4411.