Another Way Secondhand Smoke May Harm Kids
We all know a myriad of reasons why smoking is bad for your health, and that even secondhand smoke can be harmful, especially to children. But did you know that secondhand smoke can increase the risk of tooth decay in young children?
A team of researchers in Japan has found evidence supporting this theory. Utilizing data from 76,920 children born between 2004 and 2010, researchers looked at the effects of smoking during pregnancy and exposure to household smoke on the development of caries (cavities) at routine doctor appointments at 0, 4, 8, and 18 months of age, and again at 3 years of age.
At four months, children from homes of smokers were twice as likely to develop dental caries, compared to their counterparts in non-smoker homes.
Researchers made it clear that this was purely an observational study, so no definitive conclusions could be made regarding cause and effect. Other environmental factors could have been at play, affecting the study’s results.
Despite these inconclusive findings, this research does support efforts to increase public awareness of secondhand smoke’s effects, and clinical efforts to reduce secondhand smoke exposure.