Your dentist may have explained to you that it is more difficult for smokers to heal from oral surgery than non-smokers.
This is true. For patients who smoke nicotine, oral surgery has a much higher rate of failure and an increased chance of excessive bleeding.
Due to these problems, you may not be considered a candidate for oral surgery.
How does smoking slow a healing response?
Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten and narrow. This response slows blood flow to areas of the body, not allowing the body to respond as it should.
Because of this, smoking cigarettes interferes with your body's immune system. Dental surgery, along with any type of surgery, requires adequate healing in order to abate infection, to not rupture the wound, avoid necrosis, and to allow the tissue to heal without developing significant scar tissue.
Patients who smoke have a more difficult time healing following a dental procedure because nicotine inhibits the blood flow needed. This causes:
Excessive bleeding - Because the wound can not heal quickly, the potential for bleeding is lengthened.
Possibility of the sutured wound rupturing - There is a certain amount of trust that the wound will be healing within a certain time period, nicotine lengthens that time, exacerbating the amount of time that a wound can open.
Necrosis - This is the death of cells. When there is a failure of blood supply, there is the possibility of cells dying instead of healing as they should.
Scar Tissue - With the wound being unable to heal appropriately, the possibility of developing scar tissue increases. Scar tissue can cause an unevenness, or bulkiness of tissue, disrupting other neighboring areas.
The sooner you stop smoking, the faster your body can heal from the damage done. Please contact us if you have any questions about smokings effect your oral health.
John C. Shillingburg, DDS
Board Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. John Shillingburg is proud to be a native Texan. After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science and from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio with a doctorate degree in dental science, Dr. Shillingburg completed a general dentistry residency at Fort Carson in Colorado. Read more.
is located in a beautiful new building right off of Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound, TX. With close parking and easy accessibility. Contact John C. Shillingburg, DDS, at our Flower Mound, TX 75028-1795 location. We are here for you. (972) 539-1491