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Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems

Date:
September 26, 2018
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Researchers found that smoking weakens the ability for pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease.
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As if lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease weren't enough, there's more bad news for cigarette smokers.

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that smoking also weakens the ability for pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease.

In other words, smokers have fewer defense mechanisms on the inside of their teeth.

"That might explain why smokers have poorer endodontic outcomes and delayed healing than non-smokers," said Anita Aminoshariae, associate professor of endodontics and director of predoctoral endodontics. "Imagine TNF-? and hBD-2 are among the soldiers in a last line of defense fortifying a castle. Smoking kills these soldiers before they even have a chance at mounting a solid defense."

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Endodontics.

Aminoshariae said that, previously, there was little research into the endodontic effects of smoking -- the inside of teeth. Smokers had worse outcomes than nonsmokers, with greater chances of developing gum disease and nearly two times more likely to require a root canal.

This new preliminary research set out to explain the possible contributing factors.

Thirty-two smokers and 37 nonsmokers with endodontic pulpitis -- more commonly known as dental-tissue inflammation -- were included in the study.

"We began with a look at the dental pulp of smokers compared with nonsmokers," she said. "We hypothesized that the natural defenses would be reduced in smokers; we didn't expect them to have them completely depleted."

One interesting find, Aminoshariae noted, was that for two patients who quit smoking, those defenses returned.

Joining Aminoshariae in the study were former students Caroline Ghattas Ayoub and Mohammed Bakkar; faculty members Tracey Bonfield, Catherine Demko, Thomas A. Montagnese and Andre K. Mickel; and research Santosh Ghosh -- all from the School of Dental Medicine.


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Materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Caroline Ghattas Ayoub, Anita Aminoshariae, Mohammed Bakkar, Santosh Ghosh, Tracey Bonfield, Catherine Demko, Thomas A. Montagnese, Andre K. Mickel. Comparison of IL-1β, TNF-α, hBD-2, and hBD-3 Expression in the Dental Pulp of Smokers Versus Nonsmokers. Journal of Endodontics, 2017; 43 (12): 2009 DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2017.08.017

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Case Western Reserve University. "Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180926110940.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2018, September 26). Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180926110940.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180926110940.htm (accessed April 15, 2024).

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