Can Smoking Affect Your Infected Root Canal Tooth?

Can Smoking Affect Your Infected Root Canal Tooth?

August 10, 2023

While very widespread, smoking can harm your overall health, including respiratory, cardiovascular, and oral health. Regarding your month, there’s a common concern about the potential impact of smoking on infected root canal teeth. In this article, let’s discuss root canals and the relationship between smoking and infected root canal.

What’s an Infected Root Canal?

An infected root canal tooth often refers to an infection at the innermost part of the tooth, the pulp, located within the tooth’s roots canal. The infection is often caused by bacteria that invade the tooth and infect the pulp tissues (blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues). It can also happen after tooth trauma or leaky fillings, exposing the pulp to bacteria.

Common signs that can indicate tooth infection include:

  • Extreme sensitivity to heat, cold, or sugar
  • Swelling of the jaw, gums, and face
  • Tooth abscess
  • Mild to severe tooth pain
  • Tooth pain when biting down
  • Bad breath or sour mouth taste
  • Darkening tooth color

When a tooth pulp is infected, a root canal endodontic treatment is often recommended to remove the infected or inflamed tissues. It prevents the infection from spreading, saving the tooth from further damage. Then, the canals are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent new infections. In most cases, the dentist can place a permanent filling or/and crown for added protection and strength.

Smoking and Infected Root Canals

Smoking can affect the health of an infected root canal tooth in numerous ways, including:

Weakened immune response. Smoking inhibits the body’s natural ability to fight off infections. Thus, smoking with an infected tooth could potentially lead to more persistent and recurring infections.

Impaired blood circulation. Smoking slows down blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. It can impede the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tooth and surrounding tissues, significantly compromising the tooth’s health.

Delayed healing. Since smoking impairs the body’s natural ability to heal correctly, it can make tooth infections more challenging to treat and increase the risks of complications like infections.

Reduced root canal success rate. Root canal treatment is essential to remove pulp infection and save the tooth. Since smoking can inhibit natural healing, it can decrease the overall success rate of your root canal treatment.

Tooth loss. Smoking can exacerbate tooth infection and make it harder to control, eventually leading to tooth loss. It causes the need for future dental treatments like dental bridges and implants to replace lost teeth.

Do you suspect your tooth is infected? Visit our dental office for root canal treatment in Merrimack, NH. Prompt treatment is essential to save the tooth from further infection.

Additional Dental Effects of Smoking

Besides compromising the health of your infected tooth, smoking is also associated with a wide range of oral health issues. Tobacco products contain harmful toxins like tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide, which can harm your teeth, gums, and bone, increasing your risk of oral issues like:

Gum or periodontal disease. It refers to the infection or inflammation of the gum tissues. Smoking weakens the immune system and reduces blood and oxygen flow to the gums, making you more susceptible to gum infections. Common symptoms of gum disease include sore, swollen, or bleeding gums. If not treated promptly, gum disease can advance to a severe stage, leading to adverse effects like tooth loss, gum recession, and bone loss.

Teeth staining. Smoking is a nuisance when it comes to teeth stains. The tar and nicotine in tobacco smoke can cause stubborn teeth staining or yellowing, which can be challenging to clean.

Delayed wound healing. Smoking affects the body’s normal ability to fight infections and heal. It can lead to delayed healing after dental treatments like oral surgeries, dental implant surgery, biopsies, and tooth extractions. It can lead to serious infections and complications like implant failure.

Bad breath. Tobacco smoke releases chemicals that cause persistent bad breath, which can be difficult to get off even with brushing.

Interested in Root Canal Therapy in Merrimack, NH?

For more details about tooth infections and root canal therapy, contact Yelena Popkova, DDS – Merrimack.