Dental Risks Associated With Second-Hand Smoke

Stopping Cigarette Smoking for Teeth's Sake

The number of people who face dental and oral health problems because of cigarette smoking is increasing. This is because passive smokers or the people who aren’t really smokers but inhales the cigarettes smoke exhaled by another individual. These passive smokers are comprised of people from different age groups and the effects of smoking are even doubled for them compared to the ones actually smoking cigarettes.

Smokers are well aware of the dangerous health hazards of puffing cigarettes but most of the public are not aware that passive smokers are more at risk on the mere exposure to second-hand smoke. The effects of second-hand smoke can even affect your dental and oral health by being involuntary or passive smokers.A chemical found in cigarettes aside from nicotine that extensively damages the body is cotinine. Cotinine is a biomarker or is a detector of the presence of nicotine in the body that stays in the body much longer than nicotine. The people exposed to second-hand smoke also have this chemical in their blood and the health conditions or diseases that children and adults can get from it can be life threatening.

The list below is the set of potential risk factors, which can also be viewed at, of inhaling second-hand smoke that threatens the dental health of non-smokers.

DRY MOUTH. The chemicals in the smoke are responsible for the decrease in the production of saliva. This decrease in saliva causes the mouth to become acidic which is a good environment for the growth plaque-causing bacteria. This can cause bad breath and increased risk of tooth decay for non-smokers who inhale second-hand smoke.

SEVERE GUM DISEASE OR PERIODONTITIS. Chemicals in smoke from cigarettes like nicotine and benzoperylene enters the bloodstream as you inhale it. These chemicals inhibit tissue healing and weaken your immune system. Passive smokers would have a hard time fighting off infections especially in the gums putting them at risk of developing severe gum disease otherwise known as periodontitis and eventually tooth loss.

DELAYED TOOTH DEVELOPMENT. Children in their developmental years are at risk of having brittle bones and teeth as the chemicals they inhale blocks the absorption of calcium and vital nutrients that their teeth and bones need.

FAILURES OF IMPLANTS. The bone structure that supports the teeth and gums of people who inhale cigarette smoke shrink and even vanishes that result to bone loss. Dentist would not be able to attach implants on people who have little to no bones in their jaws to replace missing tooth.

Further education of smokers and non-smokers need to happen to make the public aware of the doubled effects of second-hand smoke. Smoking is affecting more non-smokers than the actual people who smoke. The risks of oral cancers and other diseases are issues that should not be put aside and should be considered of great importance as pregnant women and unborn children are showing the bad effects of inhaling the toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke. If you are a smoker, it would be best to avoid doing it in public places and should consider quitting to save yourself from further damaging your body.