Why Hookah Is A Big Threat To Oral Health

Posted on: 5 October 2015

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Hookah is a tobacco pipe equipped with a long tube that draws the tobacco smoke through water before it reaches the mouth. It also goes by various names, such as shisha, arghila, water pipe, and many others. Although it may look fashionable, it's a threat to your oral health much just like conventional cigarettes. For example, it increases your risk of oral cancer and periodontal disease. In fact, hookah is even more dangerous due to its unique properties and attraction to young adults. Here are four reasons why smoking hookah may damage oral health even more than conventional cigarettes:

People Think It's Safe

Many young adults believe that hookah is safer as compared to cigarettes. This is dangerous because the more people believe that hookah is safe the more are likely to try or use it. For one, hookah contains many of the same substances found in cigarettes, such as nicotine.  

Unfortunately, some research suggests that hookah smoking is even more dangerous than smoking cigarettes when it comes to oral health. A health study carried out in Saudi Arabia revealed that about 30% of hookah users had periodontal disease, compared to 24% of cigarette smokers.

It's Flavoured

Conventional cigarettes aren't flavoured, which means those who are taste-focused aren't likely to find it attractive. This is different from hookah, which comes in different flavours, such as apple, strawberry, mint, and many others. This makes it attractive to those who care about taste. It also makes experimentation with smoking easier for some people who would shun cigarettes as bland.

Hookah Sessions Last For Long

Another danger of hookah has to do with how long a smoking session lasts. A typical smoker finishes a single cigarette after a few minutes. On the other hand, a typical hookah smoking session can last for an hour. The more you smoke the more dangerous chemicals you inhale. This means a hookah is more likely to inject more dangerous chemicals into your body than cigarettes. In fact, according to some estimates, a hookah user may inhale the same amount of smoke that it would take a cigarette smoker a hundred cigarettes to inhale.

Many People Smoke Hookah in Groups

Hookah smoking is usually a group activity. The same pipe is passed from person to person, often without any regard to personal hygiene. This is bad given that dental cavities are "contagious." This is one of the reasons mothers are advised not to share eating utensils with their young ones; they may spread harmful oral bacteria. Sharing of hookah pipes may lead to cross contamination much in the same way as sharing of toothbrushes may spread the dangerous oral bacteria.

All these things mean that hookah is very dangerous to your oral health. Stay away from hookah if you don't want to complicate your oral health. If you have been using it for some time, then it's advisable to consult your dentist on how to mitigate the damage.

For more information, contact a dentist like Ottawa Street Dental.