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01/23/2014

Surgeon General updates tobacco, oral health report


The U.S. Surgeon General has updated Dr. Luther Terry’s landmark report on smoking and health. According to the ADA, the 998-page report, titled The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014, updates evidence on the implications for oral health from tobacco use and the “expanding use of multiple products or the replacement of conventional combustible cigarettes with other nicotine delivery systems.”

The list of illnesses “causally associated” with active smoking has been expanded to include orofacial clefts in infants.

The dental disease chapter in the 2014 report offers these conclusions and implications:

  • The evidence is suggestive but not sufficient to infer a causal relationship between active cigarette smoking and dental caries.
  • The evidence is suggestive but not sufficient to infer a causal relationship between exposure to tobacco smoke and dental caries in children.
  • In developed nations, smoking is strongly associated with sociodemographic characteristics and a wide range of health behaviors that also are strongly associated with elevated risk for caries. Given the public health importance of dental caries, further research on smoking is needed with careful attention to confounding.
  • The evidence is suggestive but not sufficient to infer a causal relationship between cigarette smoking and failure of dental implants.
  • The existing evidence suggests that smoking may compromise the prognosis for osseointegrated dental implants. Thus, an intervention to discontinue tobacco use should be part of the treatment plan for persons who are considering a dental implant.

The report also examines evidence on the health consequences of nicotine exposure and calls for further research on “the possibility of increasing chronic nicotine exposure in the population from various nicotine-containing products for the long-term.”

The Surgeon General’s report also calls for “dramatic action” to reduce tobacco use.

To view the report, visit surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/.

Source: ADA News



Topics: Oral Health