Quitting Smoking & Dentures
Deciding to commit to dentures can have a massive impact on your quality of life. You’ll feel more confident about your smile, be able to speak more clearly, and choose more of the foods that you want to eat.
However, if you’re a smoker, you’ll want to seriously consider dropping the habit at least a few weeks before getting your teeth extracted and new dentures fitted. Smoking can negatively affect the appearance, fit, and functionality of your new dentures.
Today we’re going to examine how smoking can make your transition to dentures more uncomfortable and painful than it needs to be. This is especially true if you’re getting dental implants.
Smoking Can Lead to Sore & Painful Gums
Your gums have natural defenses against the harmful effects of cigarettes. When you’re a regular smoker, your gums harden over time — hardened gums don’t tend to agree with the friction caused by dentures.
Hardened gums can lead to open sores or bleeding, which may cause more consistent pain and discomfort. Once the patient has quit smoking, the gums shed the hardened outer layer to restore a layer of soft tissue — which is necessary for a comfortable, pain-free fit.
Longer Recovery Time
Smoking constricts the blood vessels in your mouth — which means reduced blood flow and a longer recovery period. When wounds heal slower than they should, it opens the door to infections and an increased risk of periodontal disease.
Higher Rate of Bone Loss
When you lose your teeth, your jaw bone begins to shrink. Your body believes that it no longer requires the extra bone density to support your teeth, so it allocates those resources elsewhere.
Reduced bone density can make your face seem smaller — which can make you look a lot older than you actually are. Smoking increases the rate at which your jaw bone shrinks.
Beyond making you look older, it could also mean more frequent trips to the denturist to get your dentures adjusted to fit your shrinking jaw bone.
Smoking Stains Your Dentures
Just like regular teeth, smoking can turn your dentures brown and yellow over prolonged periods of time. This is largely due to nicotine and tar which sticks to your teeth and can be very difficult to remove. If you hope to keep your dentures looking white and clean for as long as possible, it’s best to quit smoking as soon as you can.
Higher Chance of Implant Failure
If you’re considering getting dental implants, you may want to know that smoking significantly increases the risk of implant failure.
Dental implants require a surgical procedure — which means that your mouth and jaw need to be in good health. As we’ve seen, smoking directly affects the structure of your jaw bone and can lead to open sores and infections.
In short, smoking could mean a longer, more painful road as you transition to dentures.
If you’re considering getting fitted for dentures, or have further questions about your oral health and smoking, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.