Smoking is one of the worst, if not the worst, habits that anyone can have. Smoking jeopardizes your health in many ways, often leading to a severe cancer diagnosis and death. While most people are aware of smoking’s effects on the lungs, how much do you know about how smoking affects your oral health? For those with dental implants, it is vital that you understand how smoking impacts your oral health. With an investment in both time and money, understanding the negative impact of smoking on dental implants may be an excellent reason to stop smoking.
Smoking leads to several negative consequences inside the mouth. Beyond bad breath, stained teeth, and oral cancer, the chemicals and gases created by smoking cause damage to the mouth’s soft tissues. Additionally, the drug nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it reduces blood flow to the soft tissues. This can compromise your gum health and slow down the body’s ability to heal itself. Smoking also encourages oral bacteria growth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to suffer from implant failure compared to non-smokers. The success of dental implant surgery primarily relies on the healing process after the implants are placed. The bones of the mouth must fuse with the titanium posts of dental implants, and the surrounding gum tissues must be free of infection so that they heal properly. Smoking dramatically inhibits this healing process and leaves dental implants at high risk for failure.
Smoking is a bad habit that you should work to break. Not only will your overall health improve, but your oral health will also see significant benefits. If you are a smoker, only a dental professional will be able to determine your candidacy for dental implants. However, if you are a smoker and wish to undergo dental implant surgery, you will need to commit to not smoking for at least one week prior to surgery and up to two months afterward.
Contact Engineered Smiles to learn more about dental implants. If you have questions or concerns regarding how smoking affects your chances of successful results, be sure to bring them up with our doctor, David C. Wang. We want what is best for you.