According to a study published in The BMJ, children exposed to secondhand smoke at 4 months old have an increased risk of developing tooth decay at 3 years of age.
There is a high level of tooth decay and crumbling in baby teeth, at a rate of 20.5% in children aged 2-5 in the US.
While good dental hygiene and cavity prevention in young children generally focuses on sugar restriction, and using dental fluorides, some studies have suggested that secondhand smoke plays a role.
Secondhand smoke contributes to dental decay
Children exposed to passive smoking also have lower salivary IgA levels and higher levels of sialic acid with higher activity. Sialic acid enhances the agglutination of S. mutans, leading to the formation of dental plaque and caries.
This would suggest that reducing secondhand smoke among children could help prevent dental decay, although it has not been proven. Even though studies are still being conducted, many scientists support reducing secondhand smoke.