More Reasons To Quit: Gum Disease & Root Canals
When researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine set out to learn why smokers have more gum disease and are almost twice as likely to need a root canal than non-smokers, they focused in on the dental pulp inside teeth. They looked at 32 smokers and 37 nonsmokers who had inflammation of this dental-tissue. Researcher Anita Aminoshariae, associate professor of endodontics, explains that her team hypothesized that the natural system of immune defenses in tooth pulp involved in fighting disease would be reduced in smokers. Instead, they found that the defenses were completely depleted. This deficiency may be why smokers have poorer endodontic outcomes and delayed healing than non-smokers, Dr. Aminoshariae said. The good news is that among patients who stopped smoking, the missing immune defenses in the pulp returned. For the record, smoking can also cause gum disease, which when severe can cause your teeth to fall out. Research published this year (2018) also showed that gum disease is linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Anita Aminoshariae et al, “Comparison of IL-1β, TNF-α, hBD-2, and hBD-3 Expression in the Dental Pulp of Smokers Versus Nonsmokers.” Journal of Endodontics, September 26, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2017.08.017
Also in this week’s bulletin:
- Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs
- Mediterranean Diet To Save Your Sight
- Recipe: Better-Than-An-Apple-A-Day Cake