Study: Smoking can double root canal risk

Feb. 23, 2006 at 6:37 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Cigarette smoking nearly doubles risk for root canal treatment, a new study says.

The survey, reported in the April issue of the Journal of Dental Research, says cigarette smoking can lead not only to tooth discoloration and gum disease, but also to a common dental procedure that helps heal a diseased tooth -- the root canal.

"The findings substantiate what most of us already know: smoking is detrimental to your health," Elizabeth Krall Kaye of Boston University and the lead author told a New York conference. "But because root canal treatment is so common -- it's estimated that half of U.S. adults have experienced one by age 50 -- I think people can relate to it more than lung cancer and other smoking-induced conditions."

The study, which began in 1968, tracked how men's dental and physical health progressed over the course of 30 years.

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