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Secondhand Smoke Can Contribute To Your Child’s Tooth Decay

Everyone knows the damage that tobacco use can have on the body of the person who uses it. But secondhand smoke can cause just as many problems in people who don’t smoke, but spend time with a smoker. This damage is more apparent in children than anyone else. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many problems for young children, some of them deadly. These effects can include:

  • Higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Higher risk of asthma
  • Increased ear infections
  • Respiratory illness

Recently, it’s also been discovered that, in addition to all the problems above, children who live with smokers have an increased risk for tooth decay as well. Even if the smoker goes away from the child to smoke, the child is still 50% more likely to have tooth decay and cavities than children who live with non-smokers. The younger the child is when they’re exposed to secondhand smoke, the more likely the problems are to occur.

How Does Secondhand Smoke Cause Tooth Decay?

Secondhand smoke directly affects the teeth and mouth by:

  • Impairing the function of the salivary gland
  • Inflaming the tissues and membranes of the mouth
  • Lowering the levels of vitamin C in the body
  • Causing immune dysfunction

If childhood cavities and tooth decay go untreated, they can cause many problems, not the least of which is pain, discomfort, and expensive dental procedures to fix the problem.

There is no level of secondhand smoke that is safe for your child. If you smoke and would like information on how to stop, or if you believe your child may have cavities or tooth decay, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry. We are located in Parker, CO!

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