By now, we all know that smoking is bad for our health. Unless you have been hiding under a rock or living on a deserted island, it is impossible for you to be unaware of the devastating health effects of smoking in this day and age. But you might be wondering, “What does smoking have to do with dental implants”?
The answer is that smoking can lead to tooth loss. Smoking increases the risk for serious dental health issues including an increased build up of plaque and tartar. These harmful bacteria can lead to periodontal disease, the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States. One of the best ways to replace a missing tooth is with dental implants. Dental implants take the place of missing tooth roots and provide a means for attaching replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. However, if you are a smoker, the chances of your dental implants being successful are much lower. This is because smoking can delay and/or impair the healing process that is necessary in order for dental implants to be successful. It is also because smoking can lead to bone loss. If there is not enough bone and/or the quality of the bone in the jaw is not good enough, dental implants cannot be placed. In this case, bone or soft tissue grafting may be required to increase the chances for successful dental implants.
In summary, smoking not only leads to tooth loss but can also limit your options for replacing lost teeth. Not to mention the other negative effects including tooth discoloration and bad breath. If you are a smoker, you are putting your long-term dental health at risk. Talk to your doctor today about safe and effective strategies for stopping smoking.