Dental implants are an amazing way to restore lost teeth. Whether you’ve suffered from the loss of a single tooth or you’ve been suffering with a whole mouthful our dental implant solutions are an ideal way to restore your look and help you feel the joys of having permanent teeth again!
At Overmeyer Family Dental we’ve placed a lot of dental implants. Today we want to talk about one of the biggest risk to the long term success and function of dental implants: smoking. Tobacco is harmful whether you have implants or not, but implants can be a particularly devastating target for tobacco-related oral health problems!
What Does Smoking Do To Your Mouth?
Implants are small titanium screws that are placed in your jaw where the roots of your natural teeth were. Titanium bonds to your bone incredibly well, forming a lifelong connection that is just as strong as natural teeth! Implants rely on your jaw bone to keep them healthy and sturdy, which is where smoking comes in.
Tobacco smoke has been shown to cause a change in the bacterial makeup of your mouth. We all have bacteria in our mouths – it’s the sticky white film called plaque. Not all of the bacteria in your mouth is harmful but a good deal if it is. The harmful stuff is what produces the acids that damage your teeth and gums, causing cavities and gum disease!
Smoking changes the bacterial makeup of your mouth by destroying much of the bacteria that’s there! The worst part is that it leaves a lot more bad bacteria behind, opening you up to more oral health problems! For your natural teeth that involves decay and gum disease. If you have dental implants, which are immune to decay, you might think you’re safe but you aren’t!
Smoking And Dental Implants
It’s true – you don’t have to worry about your dental implants suffering from decay. But you DO have to worry about the bone and gums that support them! The same study that discovered the decrease in bacterial diversity also discovered that the risks for peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis increased in smokers too!
Peri-implant mucositis is similar to gum disease. It involves inflammation of the gums, gum recession, and is primarily restricted to the soft tissue surrounding your dental implants. If caught early enough it can be treated and reversed using the same procedures we use to treat gum disease. If it isn’t treated it can advance into peri-implantitis and potentially irreversible damage!
Peri-implantitis is when things get bad. Harmful bacteria under your gums is the cause of mucositis and gum disease, so if you had a natural tooth at the infection site you would start to see damage to the tooth, gums, and bone. Unfortunately peri-implantitis doesn’t have a tooth to target so all of the destructive force of the bacteria is directed at your bone!
The bone your dental implants sit in is essential to maintaining the stability and lasting effectiveness of your restoration. When the bone is attacked by peri-implantitis it starts to recede and expose your dental implant, putting it in jeopardy! Without treatment you could lose the implant completely!
Avoiding Peri-Implant Diseases
Avoiding these conditions involves the same treatment as gum disease: brush your teeth twice a day, floss in the evenings, and make sure you’re seeing us at our Orlando dentist office for regular cleanings and exams!
Because smoking greatly increases the risk of peri-implant diseases you should try to quit smoking immediately! Your body and your dental implants will thank you! Your dental implants are a big investment in your health – don’t risk them by continuing to smoke!
We want to help you have a good experience with the lifetime of your dental implants. They’re the best way to replace lost teeth, restore your dental health, and keep you smiling but smoking and poor oral hygiene can combine to ruin them and your treatment satisfaction!
Don’t let bad habits ruin your smile! Call Overmeyer Family Dental today at 407-603-3839! We’re here to help you live life to the fullest! If you would prefer to schedule an appointment online we can help you there too: just fill out our online form! We look forward to seeing you soon!