As the only option that replaces your lost teeth’s roots, dental implants can provide unmatched stability and can help preserve your jawbone’s integrity after tooth loss. However, your oral health must be able to support the procedure, and if you smoke or use tobacco on a regular basis, then chances of successful dental implant placement are significantly reduced. Today, we explain how the destructive habit of smoking and using tobacco can impede your attempts to restore your dental health.
How Tobacco Affects Dental Health
Smoking is detrimental even to a healthy and full mouth. The hundreds of toxic chemicals in tobacco can interfere with the normal function of your mouth’s soft tissue cells, making them more susceptible to issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Smoking is also notorious for causing dental issues like chronic bad breath (halitosis), discolored teeth, severe xerostomia (dry mouth), and the risk of jawbone deterioration.
Smoking also helps create a habitable environment for anaerobic oral bacteria to proliferate and gather, forming harmful dental plaque much faster than people who don’t smoke. Since the bad habit inhibits oxygen in your bloodstream, your gums may fail to heal from bacterial plaque infection, which can quickly progress into severe gum disease, possibly resulting in tooth loss.
How Tobacco Affects Dental Implants
A dental implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone where the roots of lost teeth once were. The biocompatible titanium implant is designed for your jawbone to fuse to its surface, so the procedure depends on enough jawbone structure to securely do so. A part of smoking’s negative impact on successful implant placement is the oral tissue destruction and bone loss associated with tobacco use.
Also, healing after surgery can be impaired by your blood’s oxygen deficiency, obstructing the process of osseointegration, or the joining of your jawbone to the dental implant. If you smoke, then your smile may depend on you quitting the habit before receiving your dental implants.