Dental implants and smoking

While the argument exists that our bodies are miraculous in that they quickly restore themselves when smoking is stopped, the long term damage caused by smoking may become evident later impacting oral and overall health.

Increasingly, dentists are offering smokers screening for oral cancer and gum disease as part of their regular dental check-up policy. The reason for this is because smokers are at higher risk of developing oral cancer and gum disease even after quitting smoking.

Smoking and tooth loss

Many smokers are oblivious to how smoking actually leads to tooth loss. Others may have the knowledge but discard the reality in pleasure of their smoking habit.

Smoking and tobacco intake increases sticky plaque formation in the mouth and raises acidity levels in saliva that attracts infection causing bacteria. A thick yellowy layer may form of the tongues of smokers, increasing plaque and bacterial colonisation. The teeth may similarly become yellowed and coated with layers of plaque and tartar.

If this excess plaque and bacteria is not cleaned away through daily thorough oral hygiene practice and teeth scaling with the dental hygienist, gum infection and inflammation may set in. Smokers are therefore at higher risk of developing gingivitis which is the start of gum disease and potential tooth loss.

Smokers that do not use appropriate oral cleaning products specifically for smokers that are recommended by their dental hygienist and who do not adequately clean their mouths may have gingivitis that develops into advanced gum disease known ad periodontitis.

The signs of periodontitis are foul smelling breath, bleeding and swollen gums, and loose teeth. The disease results in disintegration of the periodontal ligament that attaches teeth through gum tissue to the jaw bone. As the ligament breaks down and infection sets in within tooth root canals, teeth become loose and fall out.

The need for dental implants

Smoking habits may lead to the loss of one or more teeth. To restore dental structure and oral health for normal oral functions, missing teeth may need replacement with artificial ones such as crowns, bridges or dentures.

Dental implants are a means of stabilising dental prosthesis such as crowns, bridges and dentures. They serve to replace the missing tooth roots lost due to gum disease and disintegration of the periodontal ligament. Dental implants are the best way to secure tooth restorations that fill tooth gaps.

Smoking and oral health

Even when dental treatments such as dental implant supported crowns and dentures are provided to smokers, their smoking habits may not improve their oral or overall health. To prevent deterioration of oral health that may lead to other health complications, quitting smoking is the ideal solution.

Dental implant supported dental prosthesis

Smokers often replace their smoking habits with healthy foods they enjoy. Dental implant supported tooth restorations are designed to look just like healthy natural teeth with added control over dental functions such as chewing of food and speaking.

Improving oral health and tooth structure with replacement of missing teeth gives added confidence. Individuals benefit from enhancing their appearance, feeling more attractive, oral comfort and higher self esteem when interacting with others. The need to smoke may be reduced due to greater feelings of wellbeing.