Dental fillings are made of highly durable materials and are meant to help teeth regain their structural integrity and improve overall oral functionality. Though fillings are extremely strong, they can slowly degrade over the years, and this degradation process can be accelerated depending on certain habits like eating hard foods or just not upholding proper oral hygiene.
If you’re a smoker though you may be wondering if smoking is allowed after a dental filling is placed or if smoking can degrade a filling. The answer is a bit obscure as there are no known studies that conclude that patients shouldn’t smoke after a dental filling. However, most dentists will recommend that patients wait at least an hour, or even a full day before smoking again as the gums and teeth can still be sensitive after placement of a dental filling. Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes could potentially delay the healing process and prolong sensitivity, but don’t necessarily cause any damage to the fillings themselves.
However, even if smoking can’t damage fillings, it can certainly affect oral and overall body health. Chemicals like nicotine, tar, and many others found in cigarettes have been linked with causing gum disease, tooth instability, staining, and even oral cancer. Patients who smoke also tend to have severe halitosis or bad breath that can be difficult to treat. Therefore, patients are always advised to quit smoking when they feel ready to take the first few steps.
Can I Smoke After Getting a Cavity Filled
Cigarette smoke has been shown to adversely affect gum health and stain teeth. Depending on the number of years that a patient has been smoking, the structural integrity of teeth may also be affected and have a higher chance of falling out. However, there haven’t been any direct measures of whether cigarette smoke affects filled cavities.
Nonetheless, if you just had a cavity filled, it is advisable to wait at least an hour before smoking again just to ensure that teeth sensitivity has a chance to go away first. Chewing nicotine gum lightly on the side that did not have the filling placed, or using a nicotine patch during this time can help alleviate any cravings.
And of course, it is recommended that patients regardless of having cavities filled work towards decreasing the amount of cigarettes used with the eventual goal of quitting altogether. This can be a difficult process, but things like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, sunflower seeds, and other methods have been shown to assist patients in starting the road towards quitting. If you’re looking to improve your overall health and oral hygiene, speak with your doctor regarding methods available to help begin the process of quitting. Your body and your teeth will thank you! If you have more questions please visit our dental clinic at in Worcester MA.