What Every Smoker Needs To Know: Smoking and Dental Implants


smoking and dental implants

Smoking is a dangerous habit and it can be even worse for your dental health –

especially if you have dental implants.

Before you pick up your next cigarette there are a number of things you should know. Nicotine can be extremely problematic for your oral health for a number of reasons. Research has shown that the nicotine in tobacco and cigarettes can reduce the flow of blood to the mouth and put you at risk of oral-burn syndrome/burning mouth syndrome.

What is burning mouth syndrome?

Burning mouth or oral burn syndrome is a condition that is a result of years of cigarette or pipe smoking. It is a result of the severe heat which can burn the inside of your mouth and result in constant or sporadic pain depending on the severity of your condition. This condition can also lead to depression and constant anxiety and fear of pain.

The most common symptoms of patients that smoke include:

  • Tingling and numbness of the mouth and tongue
  • Taste changes
  • Dry mouth (lack of saliva)

Dry mouth can be extremely detrimental to your oral health as your saliva is responsible for coating and protecting your teeth. If you have dry mouth then your teeth can become dehydrated and be at further risk of decay. This decay can then lead to tooth extraction and the requirement for a dental implant.

What are the risks if I smoke and have dental implants?

Peri-implantitis is a serious problem that can sabotage the function of your dental implants. Mucosal pockets can form around the implant and cause inflammation and eventuate in dental implant failure. According to research about this condition smokers are at a higher risk of developing deep peri-implant pockets.

What does this mean for my dental implant?

Dental implant pockets are where the bone does not accept the titanium of the implant. In a working dental implant the titanium will fuse to your jaw bone. This process is called osseointegration and it is required to ensure your implant is permanently fixed to your jaw. This means that the implant can function normally without wobbling or falling out like dentures. However, if your jaw does not respond well to the procedure because you smoke or because you are part of the minority of patients that are unsuccessful then your bone will not fuse with the implant and an x-ray taken of your implant will look like this:


As you can see there is a definite gap around the implant and eventually, this will result in the dental implant failing.

What happens if my dental implant fails?

If your dental implant fails then you can try again. However, if you do smoke we recommend that you quit before you consider trying again. This is important as it will improve your overall health and your chance of success.

Dental implants Sydney

No matter what your condition if you have a missing tooth then we recommend booking an appointment with Dr Rammo at justSMILE at one of our convenient locations.

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