Dental implants not only give you a beautiful smile, but they can also improve your oral health. When cared for per the instructions of your implant dentist, your restorations will last for years. It is important to note, that certain lifestyle habits such as cigarette smoking can raise your risk for implant failure. Here are some ways smoking can affect your dental implants and what you can do about them:
It is thought that smoking may play a role in the development of osteoporosis. Smoking may raise the risk for decreased bone density, not only of your neck and spine, but also of your jawbones. When you have low bone density of the bones that support your implant screws, they may not stay anchored properly.
Low bone density of the jawbones may also lead to fractures of the bones that support your implants, and if this happens, your dental implants may need to be removed. Also, after a bone fracture, cigarette smoking may slow healing, and may even heighten your risk for an infection after your implant surgery.
While osteoporosis is more prevalent in women who are going through menopause, men are not immune to it. If your implants are shifting inside your mouth, or if you feel pain in your jaw, see your dentist as soon as possible. He or she will take x-rays to determine if your jawbone is losing density, and if it is, you may be referred back to your primary care physician for further evaluation and treatment.
The toxins in cigarette smoke can damage the capillaries inside your mouth, slowing the healing process after your implant surgery. Smoking contributes to poor circulation, and may raise your risk for a type of gum disease known as periodontitis.
This form of gingivitis can cause bleeding gums, and if left untreated, may lead to the destruction of the bones underneath your gum tissue. If your develop bleeding gums, gum inflammation, or gums that are deep red in color, see your implant dentist. If he or she suspects that you have periodontitis, you will be referred to a gum specialist known as a periodontist for an examination and additional treatment.
If you smoke, work with both your physician and dentist to help you quit. Not smoking is especially important in the early stages of your implant treatment, when it is essential that your mouth be as healthy as possible. When you have a healthy mouth, your dental implants are more likely to last for many years, and may even last a lifetime. If you want to visit an implant dentist, you should get more information.