One of the worst possible habits you could have for your oral health is actually smoking. Not only can smoking cause bad breath and tooth discoloration, but it can also lead to more serious oral conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. And, if you are suffering from missing teeth and wish to restore them using dental implants, smoking can actually increase the chances of your treatment failing. Today, Dr. K. Ashraf is blogging from his Waterloo, ON area office in order to talk about smoking and how the habit can prevent your dental implant treatment from succeeding.
What makes the dental implant process unique is the way that the implant is placed directly along the jawbone. Once in place, the implant will need three to six months to heal. During this period, the implant is integrated into your jawbone by a process called osseointegration. If successful, your dental implant becomes a permanent part of your oral anatomy. However, every now and then, this process can be undermined by the inflammation of the tissue directly around the implant fixture. This is called peri-implantitis and while it can happen to any patient, it occurs much more frequently in patients who smoke.
What makes smoking dangerous for your dental implant is the fact that it can slow the circulation of blood in your body, which makes it more difficult for your body to heal itself. It is also true that the nicotine in cigarettes can affect and damage the various tissues that make up your jaw, teeth, gums, and facial muscles. Because of this damage, it is possible that you may lose even more teeth due to smoking. And, continuing to smoke may ensure that you can’t restore those missing teeth with dental implants.
Smoking is also very bad for your oral health because it can increase the rate of jawbone deterioration. When you lose a tooth, it is possible for the area of the jawbone that tooth was connected to lose strength and density. Because your jawbone works to support your facial structure, you may begin to notice cosmetic damage due to your habit. For instance, it is not uncommon to develop hollow cheeks, resulting in a “sunken appearance”. It is also common for the skin around the jawline to prematurely wrinkle, causing the patient to appear aged or sickly.
It is for the reasons above that we recommend you give up smoking before moving forward with your dental implant treatment. While it is true that patients who smoke can still successfully restore their missing teeth using dental implants, the chances of the treatment failing are simply much higher for these patients than for those who don’t smoke. If you would like to learn more about how smoking affects the dental implant process, we encourage you to contact our practice and schedule a no-obligation consultation with dental implant provider Dr. K. Ashraf today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!