Saturday, January 12, 2019

How Smoking Affects Dental Pulp

We’re proud to say that patients with toothaches can get reliable treatment in comfort at the Holmdel dental office of Dr. Dipika Shah. Root canals remove potentially life-threatening infected material while preserving the natural structure of a tooth. But new research shows that smokers have particular problems with dental pulp infections, and we want our patients to be aware of why.

Antimicrobial peptides are one of the foundations of the immune system. They are molecules that kill bacteria by latching onto them and are found in healthy dental pulp. When a tooth is injured or an infection reaches the pulp, the pulp becomes inflamed, allowing peptides to more easily pass through tissue layers. But in smokers, the immune system does not function as well. Smokers have elevated levels of periodontal disease, and a recent study indicated that their dental pulp lacks antimicrobial peptides.

Without antimicrobial peptides, it is much harder for pulp to resist infections and the infections are likelier to recur. In the course of a root canal treatment, we can use antibacterial medication to fight infection in pulp we can’t remove, but complications are less likely if the patient is not a smoker. Some good news is that the researchers found that a few people’s immune systems recovered after they quit smoking.

Dr. Dipika Shah, Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, operates at 723 N Beers St, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit Dentist NJ and fill out a contact form.


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