Why Smoking During Dental Implant Recovery is So Dangerous to Your Mouth
Posted on 4/20/2019 by Dr McMurray
The Surgeon General warned a long time ago about the dangers of smoking. Despite the warnings, people continue to smoke. It could be due to the lack of knowledge about how smoking can affect their health, or it could be due to them being stubborn.
While it is hard to overcome the stubbornness, the lack of information about the damage to your health from smoking is easy to provide.
Smoking impacts health both in the short-term and the long-term. People recovering from dental implant surgery are at an increased risk for problems, both in the short-term and the long-term. These are the things they risk.
The Short-Term Impact One of the first things we tell our implant patients to avoid smoking and the use of tobacco during the recovery time from the implant procedure. It is also one of the most difficult things for people to follow. The use of any tobacco as the implant heals can cause a variety of problems.
The biggest problem comes from the sucking action required to smoke a cigarette or anything else. After the implant surgery the body forms blood clots. These clots are important. They prevent a dry socket from forming. The dry socket can lead to issues with pain and swelling and could lead to failure of the implant. The chances of this happening are the highest in the first 72 hours after surgery but smoking also slows down the healing process which means the risk can last longer.
The Long-Term There is a link between the use of tobacco products and oral cancer. That is one risk that anyone who smokes should know whether they have implants or not. Smoking also can impact the immune system. This can impact the implants during the healing process and it can affect the gums as well. The impact of nicotine and the other chemicals in tobacco may not have a direct impact on the material used for the implants, but it can affect the surrounding tissue and can lead to failure of the implants.
We recommend that you refrain from smoking for at least 2 to 3 months after implant surgery. This gives the implants the time to not only heal, but also become stronger. That gives you the best chance to avoid the problems that smoking can cause. Of course, giving up smoking altogether is the best thing for the health of your implants and your overall health.