Dentures are a trusted solution to treat tooth loss. They have been used for generations to rebuild beautiful, complete smiles. Adults of all ages with several or all lost teeth can benefit from dentures. However, they may not be the best option for smokers. Here’s why you should kick the habit if you want to replace your lost teeth.
Smoking and Dentures are a Bad Mix
Traditional full dentures rest on top of your gum tissue and use suction to stay in place. Your gums have a natural defense system to harden when smoke is inhaled. Tobacco in any form will cause your gums to shrink and recede over time. As you lose gum volume, your denture won’t fit correctly.
Slipping dentures can irritate your gums, which can lead to inflammation, sores, and infections. You can have an increased risk of oral infections because tobacco affects your immune system. They can be more difficult to treat because smoking causes the blood vessels in your mouth and body to constrict. As a result, blood circulation to your gums is decreased. which restricts blood flow to your gums.
Poor-fitting dentures and smoking are linked to oral cancer. 54,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. Tobacco use is connected to 90% of oral cancer cases. Your risk increases even more if your dentures don’t fit well.
Not only can smoking harm your oral health and overall wellness, but it can damage your dentures. Tobacco can stain your dentures and lead to unpleasant odors. It can also shorten the lifespan of your prosthetic, so you’ll need a replacement sooner.
5 Tips to Stop Smoking
It’s never too late to stop smoking, although it isn’t always easy. As you break the habit, your gums will regenerate, creating a soft layer to support your dentures. You will avoid gum and bone loss to maintain a snug fit. Not to mention, you will lower your risk of various health issues, like cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness.
Overcoming nicotine addiction can be difficult, but don’t give up. Here are a few tips to support your success:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy: Prescribed medications can help you stop smoking, as well as OTC nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges.
- Avoid Triggers: Identify your triggers to create a strategy to help you avoid the urge to light up.
- Delay Technique: Delay your craving by distracting yourself. Keep your mind and hands busy.
- Relaxation Techniques: Breaking your nicotine addiction can cause stress levels to rise. Practice yoga, deep breathing, and other relaxation methods.
- Get Support: Join a local stop-smoking program or find support online.
Don’t worry if you relapse. Remain committed and take each day one step at a time.
About Dr. Jodi Meadvin
Dr. Meadvin achieved her dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and continued her education to earn her AEGD certificate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has regularly pursued additional training in various specialties. Request an appointment through her website or call (856) 281-3437.