According to a University of Birmingham study cited by Science Daily, smokers are more likely to suffer from tooth loss than non-smokers. For male smokers, they are 3.6 times more likely to be missing teeth; for female smokers, they are 2.5 times more likely to suffer tooth loss. This is one reason why patients visit Austin, TX dentists Dr. C. Mike Meek and Dr. David. J. Tasch. They offer custom dentures, bridges, and dental implants to treat tooth loss, restoring the health and appearance of smiles.
Smoking doesn’t just increase cancer risk and tooth loss. Smokers can also ruin their dental implants if they don’t kick the habit. The team at 38th Street Dental would like to explore these matters in more detail.
Smoking and the Risk of Post-Surgical Infection
After undergoing oral surgery to have dental implants placed, it’s crucial that patients avoid smoking and tobacco products. Studies have found that the use of tobacco products slows down the healing process for patients. This, in turn, increases the risk of infection in the crucial early days after surgery.
Smoking and Its Link to Gum Disease
Even after a patient has healed, smoking and the use of tobacco products can have innumerable negative effects on your dental health and wellness. Smoking is a leading cause of gum disease, which weakens the gum tissue and can lead to tooth loss as well as many other health problems. If you develop gum disease while you have dental implants, the risk of implant failure is higher.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that smokers are twice as likely to experience gum disease as non-smokers.
How Likely Is Implant Failure Among Smokers?
A 2012 study available through the U.S. National Library of Medicine reveals some estimates about implant failure and smoking. This study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry (JISPCD) found that the dental implant failure rate of smokers vs. non-smokers could be anywhere from 6.5 percent to 20 percent higher.
While the numbers have a bit of range, they are a sign that smoking after getting dental implants is a bad idea. That’s something our Austin dental care team stresses to all of our implant dentistry patients.
Avoid Tobacco Products Before Oral Surgery
In order to ensure optimal results, it’s important that patients avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products in the lead up to dental implant surgery. This helps ensure the gum tissue is healthy and that the risk of slow healing and periodontal infection after surgery is low.
Use Your Dental Implants as a Way to Quit Smoking for Good
Once you have dental implants in place, you can use it as an excuse to quit smoking for good. Your dental implants and restored smile are a brand new start. If you quit smoking, you can avoid gum disease and implant failure as well as other serious health problems affecting your heart and lungs.
Quitting can be easier said than done. If you need resources to help you kick the habit, our team is here to help. We’d be more than happy to offer our insight and advice for this life-changing step in the right direction.
Learn More About Dental Implants
If you live in the greater Austin area and would like to learn more about dental implants and how they can benefit you, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at 38th Street Dental can be reached by phone at (512) 458-6222.