The AADR recognizes that use of tobacco in any form increases the risk for death and disease among people that use these products and those exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. Cigarette smoking is causally related to chronic periodontitis, responsible for an estimated one-half of cases in the United States. Cigarette smoking is the major causal factor for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx in the United States. Use of other combusted tobacco products — including cigars, pipes, and hookah —also increases the risk for these malignancies. Use of smokeless tobacco is causally related to oral cancer, increases the risk for localized gingival recession, and may increase the risk for root surface caries. Mounting evidence implicates exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke as a risk factor for early childhood caries. Smoking also reduces the success rates for surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy, increases the risk of failure of dental implants, and increases the risk of complications following oral surgical procedures.
- Based on an extensive body of scientific literature on the negative impact of tobacco use on oral health, effective methods of reducing tobacco, and the inextricable link between oral health and overall health, it is recommended that:
- Oral health care professionals incorporate evidence-based approaches to tobacco use intervention into clinical practice and establish linkages with tobacco cessation resources in their communities.
- National, state, and local dental professional organizations advocate for adoption of health policies that incorporate best practices for comprehensive tobacco control.
- Research be supported and conducted to assess the oral health effects of established and newly emerging tobacco products in the United States.
- Dental educational institutions increase the competency of students and residents in providing behavioral interventions for tobacco use and appropriate use of pharmacotherapy.
- Oral health care professionals become active members of tobacco control coalitions in their communities.
- In choosing meeting sites, AADR give preference to cities that have enacted comprehensive clean indoor air policies that include restaurants, hotels, conference centers, and other public spaces