Smoking hookah is increasingly becoming a national pastime among American youth, particularly those who aren’t yet old enough to drink, but want to engage in communal activities with friends. Misconceptions abound about the relative safety of hookah, when compared with cigarettes, but Dr. Askari wants both parents and teens to know that not only is hookah as dangerous as cigarettes, but in many ways it is worse, particularly when it comes to your oral health.
To Your Mouth, Tobacco is Tobacco
The hookah, also known as shisha, argileh, or goza, is a water pipe that uses a large coal set atop a bowl of flavored tobacco to produce smoke that is passed through a water vessel and delivered to the smoker via a long hose. The seemingly innocuous flavors of the tobacco, and the presence of a water bowl confuse many hookah smokers into thinking that the smooth, thick smoke inhaled from a shisha is somehow safer than that inhaled from a cigarette. In reality, an hour-long hookah-smoking session delivers the equivalent toxins of at least a hundred cigarettes. Researchers have estimated that the amount of carbon monoxide released from the smoke of a hookah exceeds that released from the exhaust of a 2000 Toyota 4-Runner.
Hookah and Your Oral Health
A 2005 Swedish study of Saudi Arabian smokers, in particular hookah smokers, found that their periodontal health was severely jeopardized by smoking. Smokers were evaluated based on their level of oral hygiene, degree of gum inflammation, and depth of periodontal pockets, which are spaces below the gum line where the gum has become detached from teeth. Periodontal pockets are strong indicators of gum disease and were nearly a full millimeter deeper in smokers than in non-smokers. In the study, instances of gum disease were ten percent higher in those who smoked hookah, than in non-smokers. Though the difference between cigarette and hookah smokers were small, in all instances, hookah smokers experienced worse symptoms than cigarette smokers.
Protect Your Gums
Your Farmington Hills dentist does not recommend smoking hookah or cigarettes, but if smoking in the past has affected the quality of your gums or teeth, you should schedule an appointment with Comfort Dental Spa today to evaluate your oral health. Call your Farmington Hills dentist today at (248)474-6434. We gladly serve patients from Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, and Detroit neighborhoods.