Select Language: English | Espanol

Smoking and Your Oral Health

Posted under Dental Health Tips on August 17th, 2012 | 2 Comments
Smoking and Your Oral Health

Two reports in the recent news reinforce the link between smoking and poor oral health.

A report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that among dentate adults aged 18-64 there are differences in oral health status and oral health care utilization among current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers.

Key findings include:

  • Current smokers were twice as likely as former smokers and four times as likely as never smokers to have poor oral health.
  • Current smokers were more than two times as likely as never smokers to have had three or more oral health problems.
  • Current smokers were about twice as likely as former smokers and never smokers to have not had a dental visit in more than 5 years or have never had one.
  • Cost was the reason that most adults with an oral health problem did not see a dentist in the past 6 months; 56% of current smokers said they could not afford treatment or did not have insurance.

In another study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke for a few hours each day can double a person’s risk of severe periodontal disease. However, the results of the study may have been affected by other factors that were unaccounted for. More research is needed.