Most people already know that smoking increases the risk of oral cancer, but few smokers think about how their habit can increase the likelihood of needing dental surgery. After conducting an extensive study with participant follow-ups ranging from two to 28 years, researchers determined that cigarette smoking increases the risk of root canal treatment by as much as 70%.
Although scientists have not been able to identify the reason for this increased risk, they have known for years that smoking can cause severe enamel staining, tooth loss, gum disease, and even mouth cancer. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that smoking increases the risk of inflamed or infected tooth pulp—and the resulting root canal surgery—as well.
When a tooth develops a large cavity or infection that causes inflammation deep in the tissue, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. During this procedure, your oral surgeon will clean the affected tooth and remove any infected pulp. This is an invasive procedure that often requires a crown to protect the tooth in the future.
Even if you have been smoking for years, you can reduce the risk of needing this type of dental surgery by quitting today. Research shows that your body is resilient and will begin flushing the cigarette toxins from its system almost immediately after you quit. Within five years of giving up smoking, your risk of oral cancer and other conditions that require surgical treatment is half that of a smoker.
If you are suffering from severe tooth pain and think you might need a root canal, turn to the dental surgery team at Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska. Visit their website to learn more about the surgical and sedation dentistry treatments they provide in Anchorage, AK, and call (907) 561-1430 to make an appointment today.