How Secondhand Smoke Contributes to Childhood Tooth Decay

February 10, 2020 Image Credit:

Everyone knows that tobacco use damages the dental and overall health of the person who uses it. But secondhand smoke can cause just as much damage in people who don’t smoke but who spend time or live with someone who does. These health problems are more apparent in children than anyone else. Regular exposure to secondhand smoke can cause a number of health problems in young children, some of which can be deadly. These problems include:

  • Higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Higher instances of asthma
  • Respiratory illness
  • Increased ear infections
In addition to the above health issues, it’s also been found that children who live with smokers are at an increased risk for tooth decay. Even if the smoker only smokes away from the children, the child is still up to 50% more likely to suffer from tooth decay and dental cavities than children who live with non-smokers.

Secondhand Smoke & Tooth Decay

Secondhand smoke contributes to tooth decay by:
  • Inflaming the tissues and membranes of the mouth
  • Causing immune dysfunction
  • Lowering the levels of Vitamin C in the body
  • Impairing salivary gland function
If childhood dental cavities and tooth decay go untreated, they can cause your child unnecessary discomfort and pain and will require costly dental procedures to fix the problem. The sooner these problems are detected and treated, the better. No amount of secondhand smoke is safe for your children. If your child is exposed to secondhand smoke, make sure you’re keeping his or her regular dental appointments to detect dental issues before they become worse. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child to receive an orthodontic evaluation, please contact Kuhni Orthodontic Studio here in Spanish Fork, Utah.