March 2013 Professional Oral Care Newsletter

more effective than string flossSecondhand Smoke May Be More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

Secondhand smoke exposure found to be an equivalent or stronger risk factor than high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes

New research presented last week at the American College of Cardiology Meeting in San Francisco found that 26% of never smokers exposed to secondhand smoke as either an adult or child had signs of coronary artery calcification compared to 18.6% for the general population. When the researchers took other risk factors into consideration, the association still remained with those exposed to low, moderate, or high amounts of secondhand smoke being 50, 60, and 90%, respectively, more likely to have evidence of calcification compared to those with minimal exposure.

The researchers noted that the findings add to the evidence of the need to protect people from secondhand smoke.  They also suggested that a discussion of secondhand smoke exposure be included in routine medical exams.

Click here to read Health Day press release.

SR-3000 Secondhand Smoke and Oral Health

An increased risk for periodontal disease shown

A December 2011 study in the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry found that never smokers exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to have periodontal probing depths deeper than 4 mm and clinical attachment loss greater than 3 mm. People exposed to 1-25 hours per week were 29% more likely to have severe periodontitis. Those with exposures greater than 26 hours were twice as likely to have bone loss as those who were unexposed to secondhand smoke.

Read the full study

May increase the risk for childhood caries

A May 2011 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health systematic review that evaluated the evidence between secondhand smoke and childhood caries found that 10 of 15 high quality studies reported a significant association between secondhand smoke and childhood caries. While the exact cause of this relationship is not known, there investigators discussed possible pathways.  It is possible that secondhand smoke influences oral microorganisms and/or decreases immune function leaving the child at greater risk of infection.

Read the full review

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