If you have selected dental implants to replace lost teeth, you’ve made an excellent choice! Patients and dentists both prefer implants for tooth replacement because they are a healthy, permanent alternative to a dental bridge or dentures.
A dental implant is a tiny titanium post that’s placed in your jaw and allowed to heal. As you heal, the implant integrates with surrounding bone and tissue. Once the process is complete, an implant restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture will be placed on top of the implant to restore function and appearance.
Since the implant integrates with your jaw bone, its long-term success depends heavily on the health of your gums. For smokers, this is important to know because the habit can cause conditions in your mouth that directly impact gum health and the longevity of your implant.
Challenges for Smokers
Chronic Dry Mouth
Saliva is nature’s toothbrush because it helps wash away food particles and reduces plaque on your teeth. Unfortunately, smokers are prone to dry mouth, which allows plaque and bacteria to build up and linger in your mouth, putting you at risk for infection.
Lowered Immune Response
Smoking can suppress your body’s immune response, so the longer you smoke, the greater your risk of developing gum disease, a bacterial infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as a smoker, you have twice the risk of developing gum disease.
While smoking makes you more prone to an infection, it also makes it more difficult for your body to heal after the infection has been treated. This minimizes the effectiveness of treatment, and your gum health will need to be carefully monitored afterward.
How We Can Help
As a smoker, before you invest in dental implants in Glenmont, NY, you need to understand the ways the habit can impact their long-term success.
If you have implants, Dr. Henry Huang and the team at Bethlehem Town Family Dental can help you maintain your gum health with routine exams and cleanings. We will also inform you about the best ways to protect your oral health.