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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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How Quitting Smoking Can Help With Your Dental Implant Surgery

If you are a smoker, you will often be instructed to quit smoking if you are getting dental implants. If you are not able to quit, it's more likely that your dental implant will not be a success.

The Problem With Smoking

Nicotine reduces your immune system. This can make the site of your dental implant more prone to infection. The nicotine restricts the blood flow to your bone and oral tissue, which makes it less likely for the dental implants to remain in place as you are healing from the surgery. 

Your bone will have a more difficult time fusing with the implant when you have ingested tobacco and nicotine. This is due to the impact that tobacco has on osseointegration as found in studies.

The smoke itself may damage the surrounding gums and tissue. It can damage or block the salivary glands and cause your mouth to become dry. When your mouth is not producing enough saliva, this can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

How Quitting Can Help

The sooner you quit smoking, the better that this decision will affect your tooth implant surgery results. However, it is especially important to quit smoking within two to three months of your dental implant surgery.

After your surgery, your body will produce blood clots that will aid in your body healing. However, certain actions, such as inhaling smoke or sucking through a straw, can cause these blood clots to become dislodged and affect the healing process. You may suffer from "dry socket," which is a very painful condition.

Your Overall Health

As a smoker, you will improve your overall health if you quit. Improving your overall health will also improve your ability to recover after you have undergone dental implant surgery. Therefore, it's a good idea to find smoking cessation resources. 

You will also be able to improve your overall health by getting dental implants. The implants will stop your jaw bone from deteriorating by stimulating it. When a bone is no longer stimulated by the roots of a tooth after that tooth has fallen out, the implant can replace the stimulation and improve your overall health.

There are many other things you should do before your dental implant surgery to maximize the chances of success. If you are not sure what other steps you should take, speak with local dental implant services before you go in for your surgery.