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Posts for tag: Smoking

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
July 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   Smoking  

With a 95-plus percent survival rate after ten years, dental implants are one of the most durable replacement restorations available. Implants can potentially last much longer than less expensive options, which could make them a less costly choice in the long run.

But although a rare occurrence, implants can and do fail—often in the first few months. And tobacco smokers in particular make up a sizeable portion of these failures.

The reasons stem from smoking’s effect on oral health. Inhaled smoke can actually burn the outer skin layers in the mouth and eventually damage the salivary glands, which can decrease saliva production. Among its functions, saliva provides enzymes to fight disease; it also protects tooth enamel from damaging acid attacks. A chronic “dry mouth,” on the other hand, increases the risk of disease.

The chemical nicotine in tobacco also causes problems because it constricts blood vessels in the mouth and skin. The resulting reduced blood flow inhibits the delivery of antibodies to diseased or wounded areas, and so dramatically slows the healing process. As a result, smokers can take longer than non-smokers to recover from diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, or heal after surgery.

Both the higher disease risk and slower healing can impact an implant’s ultimate success. Implant durability depends on the gradual integration between bone and the implant’s titanium metal post that naturally occurs after placement. But this crucial process can be stymied if an infection resistant to healing arises—a primary reason why smokers experience twice the number of implant failures as non-smokers.

So, what should you do if you’re a smoker and wish to consider implants?

First, for both your general and oral health, try to quit smoking before you undergo implant surgery. At the very least, stop smoking a week before implant surgery and for two weeks after to lower your infection risk. And you can further reduce your chances for failure by practicing diligent daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

It’s possible to have a successful experience with implants even if you do smoke. But kicking the habit will definitely improve your odds.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
May 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Smoking  

How smoking affects your teeth and oral health

Smoking is dangerous to the health of your body and the health of your mouth. It is very addictive and can be fatal. You need to know the dangers of smoking and what your dentist can do to help. Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia wants you to know all the facts Smokingabout how smoking affects your teeth and your oral health.

You should try to quit smoking as soon as you can to protect your body and your teeth. Dr. Sours wants you to know while you are trying to quit, you can do a few simple things to help how your smile looks.

You already know how smoking stains your teeth, but you can minimize stains by brushing your teeth after you smoke. If you don’t have toothpaste, just use the toothbrush. You can also rinse your mouth with water. You can try over-the-counter whitening products, but a better solution is a professional whitening treatment provided by Dr. Sours. You can select:

  • In-office teeth whitening which only takes about an hour and is a great choice for people with a busy lifestyle
  • Take-home whitening kits, which are convenient and you can use them in your home when you wish

Smoking doesn’t just stain your teeth; it also drastically affects the health of your gums and bone support of your teeth. It weakens your immunity and ability to fight off diseases like gum and periodontal disease caused by bacterial plaque accumulation. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) smokers are twice as likely to have gum disease.

Untreated gum disease can progress to periodontal disease when the bone supporting your teeth becomes infected. Periodontal disease is far more likely to develop in smokers and treatment is less likely to help if you continue smoking.

Oral and throat cancer is much more likely to occur in smokers and the results can be disfiguring and fatal. It can also be difficult to detect and can go unnoticed for a long period of time. That’s why it’s a good reason to visit Dr. Sours regularly for a comprehensive dental exam and oral cancer screening.

You don’t have to deal with the dangers of smoking alone when help is just a phone call away. It’s time to call Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia and find out more about how smoking affects your body and your smile. Call today and get the help you need!