Dental implants are a popular solution for replacing a missing tooth or missing teeth. However, smoking can negatively impact the outcome of your dental implant procedure. Naturally, you may crave cigarettes during the healing process. You might assume that the occasional smoke break is fine, but this is not the case. Read on to learn more about the risks associated with smoking after your implant procedure.
Smoking Can Irritate Oral Tissue
With or without implants, smoking cigarettes will irritate your gums and other oral tissues. This can cause issues like dry mouth, foul breath, and increased bacteria. The following list details how these issues can impact your dental implants:
- Dry mouth can increase pathogenic bacteria. This increases your risk for gum disease, and healthy gums are an important part of implant success.
- The heat from cigarette smoke burns your oral tissue. This impedes the healing process and growth of healthy tissues. It can also lead to smoker's keratosis. These issues may lead to the failure rate associated with smokers and dental implants.
- Smoking can restrict blood flow to the tissue in your mouth. Your entire body needs healthy circulation and blood flow in order to function in a healthy manner. When blood flow is restricted in your mouth, the chances of gum disease are increased.
Smoking Can Lead To Bone Loss
The titanium root of your dental implant is inserted into your jawbone during the implant procedure. During the healing process, the implant and your jawbone are supposed to fuse together. Unfortunately, smoking can decrease the chances of healthy fusion.
The American Dental Hygienist Association suggests that smoking causes bone loss. When your jawbones are at risk due to smoking, so is the success of your dental implant procedure. Dental implants are less likely to osseointegrate properly when bone loss and damage occur.
Reducing The Risk Of These Issues
Following dental implant aftercare directions is the best way to reduce the risk of these problems. Some tips for reducing your risks include:
- Temporarily quit smoking for at least one week prior to implant surgery and two weeks following the procedure.
- If you do continue to smoke, make sure to follow a strict oral hygiene regimen. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing after smoking may help eliminate bacteria.
- Speak with your dentist for professional advice on post-implant care. He or she will provide information on increasing the success rate of your dental implant procedure. Your dentist may also provide information about smoking cessation programs.