Oral Health for Active Smokers
For active smokers, oral health is permanently challenged: they are more likely to develop gum disease, while any small mouth lesion becomes a threat; besides, smoking is known to have been associated with oral cancer occurrences.
Once you reduce the smoke inhaled, there will be noticeable positive effects on your oral health. Giving up smoking brings along all the implicit additional advantages: better oral hygiene, better dental health, and, last but not least, whiter, brighter and stronger teeth.
Oral Health for Passive Smokers
According to the latest research, passive smokers appear to be at greater risk for dental cavities, just like active smokers. The explanation is simple: they both inhale the smoke through the nose and mouth. Smoke changes the composition of saliva that should otherwise be bacteriostatic and immunologic, and protect the teeth from acid erosion. Smoke is a immunosuppressive agent, and therefore it promotes higher risk for different infections: this would be confirmation to the theory that smoking brings along higher risk for cavity formation, as dental cavities are, after all, infections. Thus, even if the smoke quantity is reduced for passive smokers as compared to active smokers, exposure accumulates and can become significant.
Children – Passive Smokers
There are statistics claiming that children of smoking parents or children who live under the same roof with active smokers have higher risk for developing many dental cavities.
A possible explanation to this theory relies on the idea that children who are passive smokers have a vitamin C deficit, and this lack is usually associated with growth of cariogenic bacteria.
According to some theories, as a baby one becomes exposed to and infected with cariogenic bacteria from mother’s saliva. If the mother is an active smoker, the risk for germ exposure becomes significantly higher, as nicotine levels influence and promote the growth of cariogenic bacteria.