Toronto, Canada, February 24, 2016- Princeview Dental (www.PrinceviewDental.com), one of Etobicoke’s local dental clinics, is commenting on research that suggests using a hookah to smoke tobacco is associated with many dental and oral health problems.
Researchers from Rutgers University looked at existing studies on the use of hookahs, which are water pipes used to filter and smoke tobacco. The researchers found that using hookah was linked to many health problems, including many problems of the mouth. (Source: Strong, B., “Smoking with a Hookah or Linked to Serious Oral Problems,” Youth Health Magazine, November 05, 2015; http://www.youthhealthmag.com/articles/26519/20151105/hookahs-smoking-oral-health.htm .)
“We have known for a long time that smoking cigarettes can have a bad effect on teeth and gums, and now research is suggesting that hookah may be just as bad,” says Dr. Janice Mummery, owner of Princeview Dental. “Studies have been done on cigarettes for years, so we have a lot of research to fall back on. With hookah and other water pipes, it may take some time for more research, but the preliminary results aren’t good.”
Hookah bars have become popular throughout Canada and the U.S. Hookah water pipes allow flavored tobacco to be filtered through water and inhaled. It has been believed that they are a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, as the water is thought to filter the tobacco.
“When you use hookah, you’re still inhaling large amounts of tobacco,” says Mummery. “We know tobacco can cause many health problems. Even if you’re not getting some of the chemicals and additives that are present in cigarettes, you could still be getting enough tobacco to do damage.”
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that people who smoke hookah are inhaling 100 to 200 times the amount of tobacco as they would from one cigarette. According to studies, smoking hookah is associated with numerous health problems, including gum disease, oral cancer, infections, and other dental conditions.
“Tobacco is actually one of the biggest causes of gum disease,” says Mummery. “Smoking affects the tissue of your gums, and it can lead to bacterial infections, which all encourage gum disease. It is no surprise that hookah would also cause gum disease to occur.”
The researchers also found that smoking hookah was associated with oral fungal infections, such as candida, which can often appear as a white film over the tongue. Hookah users also experienced vocal cord swelling among other oral health problems.
“Bad breath is another problem that can be caused by this,” notes Mummery. “It’s not just bacteria in the mouth that contribute to that but also infections like candida. It can lead to a very strong odour. Of course, the bigger concern is that smoking raises your risk of oral cancer or gum disease, but often people care more about their breath.”
Mummery says that the findings in these studies should be enough to get people to put down their hookah pipes. She says that avoiding smoking is crucial for people who want to prevent problems with their gums and teeth.
“In my practice, I see firsthand the effects that smoking can have on people’s teeth,” says Mummery. “We can treat serious dental problems better than ever before, but it’s always best to not have them in the first place. Prevention is the best treatment when it comes to dental health.”
Princeview Dental provides services for patients who are suffering from dental emergencies in Toronto, as well as regular oral care. More information can be found at www.PrinceviewDental.com.