If you smoke, you know better than someone who doesn’t on how hard it is to quit. Usually, when you want to quit, it helps to have a motivation, such as lowering your risk for health problems like cancer or cardiovascular disease.
In the eyes of a dentist, another reason for quitting tobacco is this: it could be negatively impacting your teeth and making your gums unhealthy. Also, once you visit the dentist, restorations like dental implants are a harder process and may fail.
So for your motivation, here’s 3 reasons why smoking doesn’t mix with dental implants.
Smoke damages tissues. It may not feel like it, however, the smoke from smoking is hot enough to burn the outermost layer of skin cells in your mouth. With each burn, this thickens the cells. Over time, this may affect your salivary glands and how much saliva you’re able to produce. Less saliva production can create a chain of events that increases the risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. With these kind of events in the mouth, bone loss could be an end result, making it hard to even place dental implants.
Nicotine restricts blood flow. Nicotine is what people who smoke crave. Nicotine can cause a restriction in the blood flow of tiny vessels throughout the mouth membranes and gums. When there is less blood flow through tissues such as these, they may not be able to fight infections or heal like normal, due to lack of antibodies. Considering this, the integration of bone and dental implants may not exist, which is needed for a durable hold. Also, slower healing and higher infection rates are higher with nicotine use.
Smoking is correlated to other diseases that also impact oral health. Smoking has not only direct effects on the mouth, but also can increase the risk of systemic conditions like cardiovascular and lung disease, and cancer. All of these conditions may also trigger inflammation, which has been shown through several studies to affect teeth, gums and underlying bone work against your chances of long-term success with implants.
Want to know more about dental implants? Call us today or book a consultation. Another great article for this topic can be found in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking: What are the Risks?”