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Cigarette smokers may require root canals
Updated: 6/14/2011 11:00:00 PM
 

Individuals who smoke may be more likely to require root canal therapy Smoking has long been associated with a number or serious health conditions, including cancer, respiratory problems and gum disease. A study conducted by the American Dental Association found that both male and female cigarette users are more likely than non-smokers to require a root canal at some point in their life.

Recently, one dental care provider highlighted the topic of root canals and how they affect an individual's oral health.

When many people reference a root canal, they discuss the dental procedure, not the actual structure in the mouth. A root canal is the naturally occurring space within the root of a tooth that contains a pulp chamber and other canals, as well as branches that help connect the root canals to one another or to the surface of the root.

The pulp runs like a thread down through the root, delivering nutrients to the tooth. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies, which can lead to tooth loss if the substance is not removed.

Smokers may require root canal therapy to remove the pulp within this area because smoking has been known to cause dry mouth, which in turn promotes bacterial growth and increases the risk of infected pulp.

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