Smoking And Dental Implants

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. Unfortunately, smoking can ruin your teeth. Thankfully, dental implants may be the answer for some smokers. If you have been considering a consultation with your dentist regarding dental implants, here is what you should know:

How Does Smoking Adversely Affect Your Teeth?

In addition to causing yellowing and stains, smoking can lead to tooth loss over time. This is because smoking can cause periodontal disease, which causes your gums to bleed and become red, inflamed and swollen. It is caused by bacteria, but the reduced blood flow that occurs from smoking can also play a role. As the gums shrink, the teeth can become loose and fall out. Once a tooth is gone, bone loss begins. These conditions all add up to having a smile that most people aren't proud of.

How Could Smoking Potentially Affect Dental Implants?

When you inhale cigarette smoke, you are inhaling something hot. Over the years, this hot smoke is damaging the mucous membranes of your mouth, which can lead to blocking your saliva glands. The saliva in your mouth plays an important role in washing away food and bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Obviously, you don't want to get dental implants and risk losing them just as you did your natural teeth.

Additionally, nicotine constricts the blood vessels. In order to properly heal and recover from dental implant surgery, your tissues need the maximum amount of rich, oxygenated blood flow they can get. Nicotine also compromises the immune system, which can make an active smoker more prone to infection. Smoking and nicotine can delay the process in which the dental implant bonds to your bone, permanently fusing the two together. Smoking other substances, such as marijuana, or simply vaping to deliver nicotine rather than smoking actual cigarettes, will cause the same issues.

What Do Dental Implant Dentists Recommend Smokers Do?

Most dentists who specialize in dental implants advise patients who smoke to still go ahead and make their initial consultation appointment. They can provide detailed, personalized information on your teeth and how smoking has affected them thus far, as well as smoking cessation information. Most importantly, they can provide you with additional motivation to quit by showing you remarkable before and after pictures of people who have gotten dental implants.

Smokers already know smoking isn't good for any part of their body, and that quitting is the best gift they can give themselves. Meeting with the dentist and seeing that a dazzling smile is possible again is the second-best gift, and can make all the difference in their lives. For more information about dental implants, speak with dental clinics like the Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry.