The Effects of Passive Cigarette Smoke and Oral Health

  • by AGD News
  • Sep 7, 2018

AGD Partners with CDC in Support of Anti-Tobacco Campaign

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have teamed up to build awareness about the harmful effects smoking has on oral health. Earlier this year the CDC launched Tips from Former Smokers, a campaign featuring real-life victims stricken by the harmful effects of smoking and secondhand smoke. As stated by the CDC, tobacco smoking continues to be the number one cause of preventable death and disease here in the United States. AGD is sharing various material to support the campaign via its print, digital and social media accounts.

AGD membership of more than 40,000 general dentists and dental students are challenged with addressing the effects of smoking, including secondhand smoke. Diseases and illnesses related to secondhand smoke continue to rise despite the availability of more public health education material and information. The CDC reports that an estimated 41,000 deaths annually are the result of secondhand smoke. About 400 of the reported annual deaths are infants and children. Victims of secondhand smoke are exposed to about one-third of the nicotine from active smokers. This makes the non-smoker just as susceptible to be diagnosed with many of the symptoms, illnesses and health disparities as smokers — stroke, lung cancer, coronary heart disease and gum disease according to the CDC.

Passive smokers are individuals who are directly and indirectly exposed to tobacco smoking. Some examples of indirect exposure to tobacco smoking are:

  1. Kissing a smoker
  2. Handling the clothing or a product that a smoker has handled
  3. Smoking while pregnant (effecting the child and creating the possibility of delayed oral teeth development)
  4. Walking by or through an area where smokers have convened.
  5. Shaking hands with a smoker

General dentists are encouraged to educate their patients on several of the oral complications caused by secondhand smoke as suggested by the Iranian Journal of Public Health:

  1. Implant failure
  2. Primary and permanent tooth decay
  3. Severe periodontitis
  4. Delayed tooth development in children
  5. A noticeable decrease in bone density in the jaw ridges
  6. Oral Cancer

AGD supports the CDC’s campaign because it also helps address the mission of the AGD Foundation to build awareness of oral cancer. Individuals of secondhand smoke are susceptible also to oral cancer