Effects of Hookah Smoking on Oral Health


Smoking of hookah is practiced in Middle Eastern culture, from the dynasty of Safavid for over 500 years. In recent decades, smoking of hookah has become very famous particularly among young adults in the United States(U.S). The rise in popularity features the belief that smoking the traditional hookah pipe is less harmful when compared to cigars or cigarettes. However, the study contradicts this belief.

Research proves that smoking of hookah poses five times higher risk of gingival and periodontal disease as compared to non-smokers. This is proved to be a greater risk than cigars and cigarette smokers, which has a 3.8 times higher chances of developing gingival and periodontal disease!

Hookah versus Cigars/cigarettes

While many hookah smokers may think this practise is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, smoking of hookah has many of the same health hazards as cigars/cigarettes smoking:

  • Halitosis/Bad breath: Smoking of any kind leads to bad breath or halitosis and smoking through a hookah leads to inhaling even larger quantity of smoke/nicotine. Don’t let the good fragrance of flavored tobacco misguide you. Halitosis is an embarrassing situation and smoking of hookah has even more impact on halitosis.

  • Oral Cancer: A life-threatening impact of smoking a hookah is that smoking from a water pipe does little to protect your mouth from this potentially fatal disease. The OCF (Oral Cancer Foundation) estimates that more than 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer every year. Historically, 75% of those diagnosed at 50 or older have been tobacco consumers.

  • Dry mouth: Smoking a hookah causes a reduction in the formation of saliva, which is a natural oral cleanser. A dry mouth also makes your oral cavity more susceptible to caries.

The leisurely habit of smoking a hookah is not as safe as it seems. Give your oral health a boost by quitting the habit for good health!