27 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Secondhand smoking impacts children’s teeth

New study shows that infants exposed to secondhand smoke seem more likely to develop tooth decay

23 Feb 2016 | 04:53 pm
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A study carried out in Japan concludes that exposure to tobacco smoke at 4 months of age was associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of tooth decay (caries or cavities) in deciduous or milk teeth. The risk of tooth decay also increased by 1.5-fold among those exposed to smoking in the household. The effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy was not statistically significant.

• A general trend of reduction has been witnessed in the number of smokers in the west, but unfortunately it remains a large scale problem in the Middle East and in developing and emerging countries as a whole.

• Most people tend to stop smoking once they discover they become parents as their sense of responsibility heightens.

• Tooth decay is an infectious disease caused by a lot of factors including insufficient oral hygiene habits, a diet rich in sugars, the frequency of sugary food intake and poor quality of teeth and saliva (genes).

• Forty per cent of young children have cavities. This early form of cavities is a severe disease called Early Childhood Caries.

• Smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer and oral cancer screening is a very important part of every dental checkup.

Information courtesy: Dr. Michael’s Dental Clinic