If you smoke cigarettes, you have a greater chance of developing gum disease, and people with gum disease have a greater chance of losing teeth. If you already have a couple teeth missing, you could consider getting them replaced with dental implants. Dental implants are great options, but they are not always the best option for people who smoke. Here are several important things you should know about this.

Smoking damages the gums and causes other oral health problems

When you meet with a dentist to discuss dental implants, he or she will ask you if you smoke. The purpose of this question is to find out the potential risks you have as a person, and it is also so the dentist understands the challenges he or she may face during the process. Smoking is something that harms your entire body, and this includes your mouth. Smoking reduces the oxygen levels that come and go to your mouth, and this can lead to oral problems such as gum disease. If you have gum disease, you would need to get this treated before getting implants.

You may need a bone graft

If you have gum disease, you might also have problems with the jawbone in your mouth. The main problem is with the density and mass of the jawbone. Gum disease tends to cause the jawbone mass to deteriorate, which means you might not have enough jawbone to support an implant. In this case, you could still get an implant; however, you would first have to undergo a bone graft procedure, which is something that involves adding more bone to your jawbone to make it stronger.

You might have a higher risk of dental implant failure

If you smoke and want dental implants, your dentist may recommend stopping your habit for a while. When you smoke, it causes your body to heal more slowly. The problem with this is that slow healing opens up the risk for infections to form. The faster something in your body can heal, the less risk you have for infections, and this is also true with dental implants. If you cannot stop smoking during this time, you should realize that you will have a greater chance of the implants failing and having to be replaced in your mouth.

Getting dental implants to replace missing teeth is often the best option, but there are times when other options might be better. To find out if you qualify for dental implants, you should visit an office like Gallery Dental.