Most people already know smoking is bad for their general health, and more are becoming aware of the way it affects their oral health, but these effects may be even more far reaching than previously imagined. Recent research has found that smoking negatively affects the way bone heals after treatment for gum disease. It was found that non-smokers healed better than smokers after receiving treatment, but the study didn’t look at bone healing in people who had previously smoked.
A review has also been carried out into a previous study which found smoking inhibited the growth of bone by approximately 2.5mm in smokers, compared to non-smokers. This may sound like a tiny amount, but is enough to make a real difference to oral health. Gum disease is one of the main reasons bone is lost in the jaw, and is likely to lead to teeth becoming loose. While it is possible to have them replaced with dental implants in Leeds, any significant bone loss could mean it is necessary to have a bone graft before implant surgery can be successfully carried out. Traditional dental implants generally need to be surrounded with approximately 3mm of healthy bone, which is why anything that prevents bone regeneration is noteworthy.
The Argument for Quitting Smoking
Smoking is well-known to have an adverse effect on oral health, and the act of smoking damages the soft gum tissues. This is because the nicotine constricts the blood vessels, making it much harder for the body to send the required nutrients to the gums, and for toxins to be transported away from the gums. If you do smoke, and require treatment, especially for gum disease or for dental implants, then Leeds City Dentalcare is likely to recommend you quit, at least for a while before having your treatment, and during the healing process.
It is not yet known how being a former smoker may affect the rates of bone regeneration after treatment for gum disease, so it is possible that regeneration rates may be lower, depending on how long ago you quit. Even so, giving up is likely to give the body more of a fighting chance of replacing lost bone, as it will be better placed to fight disease and infection. This is especially true if you are thinking about replacing lost teeth with dental implants. The success rate for dental implants, when placed by an expert dentist such as Dr David Brown, is likely to be as high as 95% for a healthy person who is prepared to look after their oral health and their implants, but this rate can fall considerably in someone who has any kind of condition that impacts oral health.
Even if you are not considering implants, giving up will still help increase the efficacy of treatment for gum disease, especially if a significant amount of treatment is require for advanced gum disease, or periodontal disease. Bone loss in the jaw will also impact the efficacy of other dental prosthesis, for example dentures require a healthy amount of bone for good retention. If you think you may have gum disease, regardless of whether or not you smoke, then our dentist in Leeds do urge you to make an appointment to visit Leeds City Dentalcare as soon as possible for a check-up. Early treatment helps to ensure that bone from your jaw isn’t lost.